Kerala: Student, critically injured after hammer fell on his head during athletics meet, dies

Johnson was moving to collect a javelin that had fallen nearby when he was struck by the hammer on his forehead.

A student volunteer, who was critically injured when a 3-kg hammer fell on his head during the 63rd Kerala State Junior Athletics Meet in Pala earlier this month, died Monday afternoon at the Kottayam Medical College where he was receiving treatment, police confirmed.

The accident took place on October 4 at the Municipal Stadium in Pala during the championship when Apheel Johnson, a class 11 student, was struck by the hammer thrown by one of the competitors.

Johnson was moving to collect a javelin that had fallen nearby when he was struck by the hammer on his forehead.

It later came to light that the finishing point of the javelin and hammer throw events was the same spot, where Johnson was volunteering.

A student of St Thomas Higher Secondary School in Pala, Johnson was immediately rushed to the Medical College and admitted to the critical care unit where he underwent two surgeries.

During his treatment at the hospital, the 17-year-old was taken off the ventilator once when his condition improved. But later, when it deteriorated, he was put on life support again.

Johnson's friends and family had rested their hopes on his recovery to life, but in the past few days, his internal organs stopped functioning, leading up to his death on Monday.

The Pala police, which had registered a case on section 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), has been looking into whether safety norms were ignored during the conduct of the athletics meet.

There have also been complaints that the Pala Municipal Stadium is extremely cramped and is not fit to host such athletic events.