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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

UAE electricity authority to investigate 'needless' death of Emirati child who wandered into power room

Residents of RAK town say child's death could have been prevented

Saeed Al Miri, a relative, gestures at the electrical room where Salem was found by his mother.  Reem Mohammed / The National
Saeed Al Miri, a relative, gestures at the electrical room where Salem was found by his mother.  Reem Mohammed / The National

The death of a child who was electrocuted when he wandered into an unlocked power room is to be probed by the country's electrical authority.

Salem Ali Al Miri, 6, was last seen alive playing outside his home in the Ras Al Khaimah town of Al Shamal.

He was found dead by his mother several hours later when she led a search party to look for him.

The boy’s family said the neighbourhood’s residents had long called for an electrical room close to the family home to be locked or relocated because of the danger it posed to children in the area.

The Federal Electricity and Water Authority told The National said it will investigate claims that the electrical room was consistently left unlocked, posing a risk to the community.

“An internal committee was formed to further investigate the reasons that lead to the boy’s death and we are still waiting to receive the investigation report from Ras Al Khaimah Police and the forensics report on the causes of death to take necessary measures and actions,” said Mohammad Saleh, director general of Fewa.

He said they would be looking into maintenance schedules and safety inspections to determine if any transformers may have been faulty or contributed to the accident.

The boy’s family said the electrical room should have been moved to a non-residential area.

Salem Ali, 6, electrocutes himself after walking into an unlocked electrical room. Reem Mohammed / The National
Salem Ali, 6, electrocutes himself after walking into an unlocked electrical room. Reem Mohammed / The National

On Monday, residents of Al Shamal said that Fewa should have taken safety precautions long ago rather than "waiting for an accident".

“Prevention is better than cure,” said Abdullah Al Miri, a neighbour of the family.

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“The authority should have taking action before the accident and that is what we have been calling for for years.”

The Emirati said he worries about the safety of his three children and said he has visited the municipality and Fewa five times, along with other residents, in a bid to have the room moved.

“It’s not only the electrical room that we are afraid of, it’s also the electrical boxes located between the houses which are very old and always open,” he said.

“We offered to pay for the relocation of the room but no action was taken. The problem is not only in our area but also in all the areas around us like Al Zahra and Seih Ibrahim,” said Mr Al Miri.

“The family should also be compensated for their loss as it’s the fault of the authority not the family,” he said.