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Child electrocuted in the streets of Rangoon

Dark street in Rangoon. (Reuters)

A child has become the latest victim to face his death due to exposed electric cables on the streets of Rangoon.

10 year-old Myat Ko Ko was electrocuted when he touched a power pole as he stepped over an open drain outside his house in Rangoon’s Hlaing Township on 31 May, according to his family.

A witness at the scene, Kyaw Htet, carried him to the closest clinic where a doctor attempted CPR.

“[The doctor] said it wasn’t working and suggested taking the child to the Rangoon General Hospital where there is proper equipment so we urgently took him in a car to the hospital,” said Kyaw Htet.

At the hospital, he was taken into emergency and given oxygen, but the doctors were unable to resuscitate him.

The child’s grandfather said Electricity Board officials met with the family and pledged their support the evening of the incident. However according to the family they are yet to receive compensation.

Last week three people were electrocuted in separate incidents in the Rangoon region on 26 May, according to local media.

Burma’s death toll caused by unsafe electricity cables or falling lines has remained high over the years — with little response from the electricity ministry.

Deaths caused by faulty electric lines or hazards in the first eight months of 2013 mounted to 107 deaths. In 2014 the death toll increased to 120 in the first nine months of that year which placed pressure on authorities to administer region-wide repairs.

The then-deputy minister for electrical power, Aung Than Oo, pledged to increase compensation for deaths due to electrocution in 2014 during question time in the upper house, but it’s unclear whether any reform has been introduced.

Last year upper house MP Nu, complained that residents of Pale in Mingaladon Township, Rangoon, were at risk of electric shock from falling cables but the ministry said they were unable to conduct repairs due to budget restrictions.