Puttur: A woman employed as an assistant cook for the Midday Meal scheme allegedly died due to the burn injuries suffered after she fell into a vat of boiling Sambar. The school administration, however, denied the claims and attributed the death to alcohol consumption.
The victim, Agnes Pramila D’Souza (37) of Malaru in Kuriya Village here, was employed as an assistant cook at St Victor’s School.
In a complaint to the Puttur Town police, the victim’s brother claimed that Agnes slipped and fell into a vat of boiling sambar when preparing mid-day meals at the school on May 30. She was rushed to Adarsh Hospital in the town area which referred her to Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru for advanced treatment. She breathed her last on June 12, without responding to treatment.
However, the school authorities had a different version of the turn of events. The school said that Agnes had reported for work at around 11 am on May 30 in an inebriated state and was denied entry into the kitchen. Instead of going home she loitered around the campus and went into the kitchen to get a drink. That is when she slipped and fell into the vat of sambar.
The school said that Agnes was forcefully taken to the hospital, even though she refused medical treatment from where she was referred to Wenlock Hospital. The doctors at Wenlock had certified that Agnes had suffered burn injuries on 18 percent of her body and would recover. In the middle of treatment, Agnes again consumed alcohol, which might have resulted in the treatment failing and causing her death, the school authorities claimed.
Rosalin Lobo, the head teacher of the school, told Udayavani that Agnes had drinking issues. She was referred to rehabilitation programmes on several occasions, but all failed.
Vishnuprasad, an official of the Akshara Dasoha programme, told Udayavani that preliminary information on the incident was taken. There are conflicting reports on the matter. “A comprehensive investigation is underway, the report of which will be sent to the higher authorities,” he added.
Meanwhile, Puttur Town police are investigating the matter.