Open verdict on sudden death of Trinity College rugby player
An open verdict has been returned on the death of a 17- year- old Kandy schoolboy rugby player who died while on a warm-up jog before practices.
Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) Dr. H.Subramaniyam also sought the Government Analyst's report to determine the cause of death of Bhathiya Eranda Ekanayake, a student of Trinity College Kandy.
His team mate Neranjan Kavinda told the inquiry that Bhathiya along with the rest of the team was engaged in a 13-km warm-up jog from the school to the Pallekele Playground when the tragedy took place.
He said they were all following instructions and jogging towards the playground at a normal pace when they noticed that Bhathiya, who was initially in the front, lagging behind.
He said that Bhathiya then with the assistance of friends had sat on the side of the road.
Kavinda said the rest of the team responded quickly and informed the instructors who took him for medical treatment.
“Till he was taken for treatment the team mates splashed water on his face by emptying their bottles of water. After that the rest of us proceeded to the playground, " he said.
Sports Instructor (Assistant) Rahul Lalith Karunathilake told the inquiry that they had asked the rugger teams to come school on Saturday, September 30, to start practices to gear themselves for the 2018 rugby season.
"We instructed the students to slowly jog towards the Pallekele playground. There were 45 students in our squad and they were carrying their food and water with them as they were instructed to,” he said
He said some students had informed him that “Bhathiya” had fallen ill during the warmup run when they were at Gamudawa, an area close to the Pallekele playground.
Mr. Karunathilake said he went there and saw Bhathiya opening his eyes when water was sprinkled on his face.
“Afterwards the student was rushed in a threewheeler to a medical clinic at Kundasale. The doctors there examined him and said to admit him at the nearest hospital due to the student’s serious health condition. He was taken in the same three-wheeler to the General Hospital Kandy," the instructor explained.
The student was rushed to the Insensitive Care Unit at Kandy Hospital where he passed away. Bhat h i ya ' s f at h e r, A. G Seneviratne Ekanayake, a non academic staff member at Trinity College, said, his son had been playing rugger since he was 11. He stayed away from practices during his ordinary level examinations.
“After that he rejoined the team. He was chosen for the 2018 rugby team as well," the father said.
Kandy Acting Magistrate, Mahinda Liyanage reordered evidence after inspecting the body and ordered the Kandy Hospital JMO to carry out the post-mortem examination.
The coach in charge of the Trinity college rugby team is a New Zealander.