KEY POINTS

  • Forty buffalos were electrocuted to death in India after a live electricity wire fell into a pond
  • The dead buffalos belonged to several families who depended on them for their livelihood
  • Signs of electrocution in water include a tingling sensation, panicked behavior and inability to move

A total of 40 buffalos died after a live electricity wire broke off and fell into a pond in Uttar Pradesh, India, electrocuting the animals. The remaining 10 of the 50 buffalos present at the site of the incident suffered severe burn injuries.

A fault in the city of Sambhal led to the 33-kilowatt overhead high tension line collapsing Tuesday, The Times of India reported.

When the wire fell into the pond, the 50 buffalos inside were all electrocuted, resulting in the catastrophic deaths of 40 of the animals. Other buffalos were grazing nearby, while herdsmen were at a distance when the accident occurred.

After hearing a loud bang caused by the sudden collapse of the electric wire, herdsmen and other locals rushed in to find the buffalos being electrocuted. Police as well as power department and district administration officials also came to the site.

The buffalos belonged to several families who depended on them for their livelihood. The bodies of the 40 dead animals were sent for postmortem, and a probe was ordered into the incident.

According to a local of the village, each buffalo cost about Rs 70,000 to Rs 1 lakh ($938 to $1,340).

Vijay Kumar Yadav, the executive engineer at the Sambhal power department, told the affected families that they will be receiving compensation for the buffalos that were killed because of the electric wire.

"We assured the villagers of compensation for their losses. A probe has been ordered in the case," Yadav said.

While the surviving 10 buffalos are being treated at a veterinary clinic, officials have launched inspections in connection with the incident.

Vikas Saxena, SHO of the local police station, said, "Inspections are being carried out and the carcasses have been removed from the pond and sent for postmortem. The district veterinary office is providing treatment to others."

Electrocution that happens in water is life-threatening. Also known as electric shock drowning, this type of electrocution paralyzes the victim's muscles, rendering them unable to move and making them at risk of drowning, according to Electrocuted.com.

Signs of electrocution in water include panicked behavior, inability to move and a growing tingling sensation.

The milk of black buffaloes is used to make mozzarella cheese Buffalo Photo: AFP / ANDREAS SOLARO