A 61-year-old man from Sri Lanka has suffered a fatal heart attack after receiving an unusually high electricity bill. On Friday 28 June, SP Samaradasa went in person to complain about his bill to the electricity board headquarters in the country's capital.
According to AFP, he suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the spot after he was told the sudden increase was due to a large price rise from last month. Quoting a local newspaper, the AFP report confirms the cause of death as a heart attack.
Samaradasa was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
The exact amount of the bill that shocked the unfortunate man's heart is not known but report say the figures were in accordance with the latest 50% tariff increase.
Electricity tariffs in Sri Lanka rose on 20 April, in a country that already has the most expensive electricity in Asia. The new rates now dictate that a kilowatt of electricity costs 23p per hour, about twice as much as the average price in the UK.
The new prices have resulted in considerable increases for most households and predictably the population is not amused; they've labelled the new structure MTS - Moronic Tariff Structure.
Following the strong reaction, the tariff structure was modified. As of now, households consuming 60 or fewer units of electricity per month remain unaffected by the price increase. Nevertheless, this structure has seen an increase in electricity bills, ranging from 50% to 127%.
About 75% of Sri Lanka's electricity is generated using coal or oil and the rest is produced by hydro-power stations, which do not work during droughts.