A 16-year-old girl burnt to death when she fell on a low-hanging electrical cable while riding on the back of a motorcycle.
Maria Eduarda de Souza Noe, 16, died in the Lago Azul neighbourhood, in the city of Manaus, the capital of Brazil’s north-western state of Amazonas, on Wednesday, 6th September, just a day before her 17th birthday.
She was on the back of a motorcycle when the vehicle hit the bare, high-voltage wire, according to local media.
Elsatino Torquato, the victim’s uncle, said that the accident occurred when he was dropping Maria Eduarda off at her mother’s house.
He said the tragic incident took place 300 metres from the house while he was manoeuvering to avoid a tree that had fallen on the road.
He added: “When we left the entrance to the farm, I dodged an acai tree that was across the road, and that’s when I realised that an electrical wire had got caught under my motorcycle. So I asked her to jump, she tried to jump, but then we were hit by a discharge [of electricity], and we fell off the bike.”
The teenager’s uncle was thrown to the left side of the bike, while the young woman fell on the same side as the electrical wire. Elsatino said he tried to help his niece but was unsuccessful.
He said: “In desperation, I tried to help her, I tried to pull her, but I was hit [by an electrical discharge] and fell backwards. So I went to call my father, he had boots on because he was getting ready to cut some plants, and we managed to get the wire away using a hose.”
The young girl’s lifeless body was then removed from the motorcycle, which was completely burned by the intensity of the electrical discharge, according to local media.
The family blame the energy company’s slow response time. Eronildes Torquato, the victim’s aunt, said: “It was for them to do when I called, they told people to fix it and they didn’t. What I ask is that they take more action, the company pays more attention […]. If they had gone earlier, solved the problem, maybe that wouldn’t have happened to Maria Eduarda.”
The victim’s relatives reportedly said they had called the Amazonas Energia energy provider at 7pm on Monday, 5th September, but the company only sent a team out after the girl’s death.
The energy provider issued a statement expressing its regrets over the incident and said that it was in touch with Maria Eduarda’s family and was providing support. The company also reportedly said that it had taken steps to fix the situation with the low-hanging bare wire.