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Different medico legal issues in deaths due to entrapment with animal electric traps; a study on selection of cases from the Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Authors:

J. Warushahennadi ,

University of Ruhuna, Galle, LK
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Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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A. S. Senavirathne

District General Hospital, Matara, LK
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Abstract

Introduction: Deaths due to electrocution involve both low and high voltage current and the manner of death is almost always accidental. Deliberate electrocution of wild animals by an unsafe extension of an electric line is made by drawing an electric connection from the low voltage utility bare lines. The entrapment of humans in these electric traps is observed in several geographical areas in Sri Lanka. The study intends to raise different medico legal issues pertaining to these deaths in a selected sample.

 

Methods: A descriptive, retrospective study was carried out on 13 outdoor electrocution deaths due to contact with animal electric traps. The medico legal autopsies were carried out by the researchers and the data were collected from the autopsy and scene visit findings, police reports and the inquirers’ reports.

 

Results: All the victims were adult males. The electric entry mark which is the hallmark of forensic diagnosis of electrocution was observed in all 13 dead bodies. It was characterised by a groove with charring at the base in 12 deaths. The macroscopic and microscopic features of electrocution were observed even in severely decomposed bodies. The cause of death was in all cases was determined as electrocution and the manner of death was determined as accidental. The trappers in 9 incidences were identified but none of them were prosecuted for breaching the laws of the Electricity Act or the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance of SriLanka.

 

Conclusions: The scene visit examination was helpful to determine the manner of death and was determined as accidental which may be debatable according to the law of the country.
How to Cite: Warushahennadi, J. and Senavirathne, A.S., 2021. Different medico legal issues in deaths due to entrapment with animal electric traps; a study on selection of cases from the Southern Province, Sri Lanka. Galle Medical Journal, 26(1), pp.11–16. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/gmj.v26i1.8077
Published on 26 Jul 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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