Tuesday, 28 September 2004  
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Death in a dried fish cauldron

by Malmi Sellahannadi

A 36-year-old man who accidentally fell into a huge cauldron of dried-fish curry prepared for an alms giving ceremony at a Devalaya in Ihala Bomiriya Kaduwela died at the Colombo National Hospital on Thursday.

The victim was one of the cooks at an alms giving at a home in Asokarama road in Kaduwela.

The incident took place on September 11.

He later succumbed to his burn injuries at the Colombo National Hospital on Thursday.

This was revealed at the inquest on the death of Senaderage Don Kumarasiri Abhaya Gunasekara conducted by City Coroner Edward Ahangama on Friday.

According to Wickrama Arachchcihge Don Ajith (36) who gave evidence at the inquest, Gunasekara was walking backwards carrying a big cauldron of rice weighing around 65 Kilos when he tripped and fell into another cauldron of dried fish curry.

Neither Gunasekara nor the witness who helped him carry the cauldron of rice saw the steaming cauldron of dried fish curry which lay in their path.

"He fell into the curry bowl and the entire upper part of his body was burnt by steaming dried-fish curry which was has just been taken from the hearth. The entire skin of the victim was peeled of his body," witness added.

According to the notes presented to the City Coroner by a nurse who attended to Gunasekara at the Colombo National Hospital, he had told her that he had to face this unfortunate incident due to his carelessness.

Kumarasiri was preparing for a meritorious deed after undertaking the alms giving at Navagamuwa Devalaya. He was a father of one child and a resident of Asokarama road, Ihala Bomiriya, Kaduwela. Kumarasiri is an employee attached to the Postal Department. City Coroner Edward Ahangama returned a verdict of death due to burn injuries. Evidence was led by Nawagamuwa police.

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