Indian Boy Dies After Falling off Cliff Trying to Find Signal to Attend Online School

An Indian boy died tragically Tuesday evening after falling from a hilltop near his village, Times of India reports. According to his father, the boy was attempting to find a cellular signal so that he could attend an online class.

Times of India states that the boy was identified as 13-year-old Adira Gagaranga of the Pandraguda village. India TV News reports that Adira was attending a missionary school in the city of Cuttack, but was studying from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to multiple reports, Adira's village didn't have cell service, so he regularly climbed a nearby hilltop in search of a network so that he could attend his classes. Sadly, however, something caused Adira to slip and fall on Tuesday.

"As our village has no mobile network, my son used to climb to a hilltop to get [a] network to attend online classes," said Narahari Gagaranda, Adira's father, in an interview with Times of India. "On Tuesday afternoon, he went to the hilltop to attend class and while attending the class, the stone on which he was sitting suddenly slipped.

"He fell down and the stone crushed his right leg," his father continued.

Adira was rushed to Padmapur hospital for treatment.

"He had received injuries at his head, leg and chest and the doctors advised us to shift him to the MKCG medical college and hospital at Berhampur," said Narahari. "However, he succumbed to his injuries before we could shift him to Berhampur."

Though Narahari alleges that a rock caused his son to fall, India TV News reports that heavy rain is what caused Adira to lose his balance. Newsweek could not independently confirm the cause of the tragic fall; however, the Times of India says that an inquiry will be conducted.

Officials did confirm for the outlet that as many as 51 villages within the district are not covered by a mobile network.

India has been ravaged by the coronavirus.

Newsweek previously reported in May that India set a new global record of over 4,500 deaths in one day. In early July, it was reported that the country officially reached more than 400,000 COVID deaths, more than half of which had happened during May and June.

Sadly, however, though those numbers are high, it was also reported in late July that experts believe that the country's COVID deaths could be ten times higher than their official toll.

"True deaths are likely to be in the several millions, not hundreds of thousands, making this arguably India's worst human tragedy since Partition and independence," the report said.

In response to the numbers, various states within the country were under strict lockdown orders throughout June and July in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Child attending virtual class
Stock image of an Indian child attending a virtual class. An Indian boy passed away trying to find an internet signal to he could attend an online class as in-person schooling is suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic. PRASANNAPiX/iStock