Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
A power firm is refusing to pay a judge’s compensation order to a family whose eight-month-old daughter was killed by a falling electricity cable.
Little Ana Elisa Romero de Souza died in agony when she was electrocuted by the power line outside her home in Rondonopolis, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
Now the Court of Mato Grosso state has ordered energy firm Energisa to pay BRL 363,600 (GBP 58,100) in compensation to the parents.
Energisa has said it will appeal the decision, insisting that the cable snapped on 26th April 2020 due to factors beyond its control.
The company has always maintained that the cable snapped after it was cut by the line of a child’s kite.
In Brazil, flying kites with ‘cerol’ – a mixture of glue and ground glass – applied to the lines is a popular pastime among children.
The aim of the game is to cut the line of the opponent’s kite. The practice is illegal and results in numerous deaths every year.
But the judge of the 3rd Civil Court of Rondonopolis, Milene Aparecida Pereira Beltramini, said that Energisa had no proof that this was the reason the cable fell.
She said: “The evidence, in my opinion, would be quite simple, and the defendant, objectively responsible, in this case, should have had a greater interest in producing it.
“However, no evidence was brought to the legal proceedings to support its arguments.”
The judge said that the energy company had committed negligence by not performing adequate maintenance on the cable or installing safety signs.
But the incident report at the time stated that children had been flying kites on the street at the time and that one of the kites had got tangled in the overhead cables.
The children tried to pull it, but it ended up snapping one of the cables, which fell on top of Ana Elisa, who died before help could arrive.
Energisa said in a statement that this version of events “was mentioned widely by the press and by family members in reports at the time”.