29 students injured in stampede in city school

Four Class 2 students admitted to the ICU at Nazareth Hospital

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: In a shocking incident as many as 29 students of the city-based St. Margaret’s Higher Secondary School (between the age group of 7-13 years) sustained injuries, four of them critically, in a stampede which occurred at the staircase inside the school premises on Monday noon during the Tiffin break.

29 students were rushed to Nazareth Hospital out of whom four were shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) while seven other children were admitted in the wards under observation. The rest were released after administration of first aid.

The four students who were admitted in the ICU are Na-i-la-bha Kharkongor, Liza Rai, Naphisaroi Rani and Upeksha Sharma, all student of Class 2.

According to a doctor in charge of the ICU, three of them were stable while one is in a critical condition. “Ventilators have been removed from the three and they are stable, however, the ventilator is yet to be removed from the forth one as her condition is still critical,” the doctor informed.

One of the students, who were released from the hospital after administration of first aid, informed that during the lunch break students belonging to Class II till Class IV were rushing down the staircase from the first floor when some senior students pushed one of the younger students and all the rest stumbled down the staircase one after another.

Principal of St. Margaret’s HS School, Sister Marina Thomas informed that the incident occurred in the afternoon when the students, who were having a sports programme, went to their classrooms to collect their lunch boxes.

“One of the students in the process of rushing down the stairs lost control and tripped causing the whole bunch of students to collapse and fall down on top of each other,” the Principal said, and added that the school has been assisting the injured students in all possible ways.

Sister Thomas brushed aside allegations that teachers were absent from the spot, stating that soon after the bell went off, the teachers came out of the rooms, followed by the students and again the teachers.

“The incident occurred when some of the teachers had already passed the staircase while others were still on the top floor, behind the students,” she said, while adding that they were able to take all the students to Nazareth Hospital within 15 minutes of the incident.

Meanwhile, police informed that during the lunch break, a stampede occurred in the school when students rushed from the first floor to the ground floor of the school building.

One of the parents, whose daughter was admitted to the ICU, said that she was informed of the incident by the school authorities and it was only later that she came to know that her daughter was serious and admitted to the ICU.

“The school should have taken proper care of my daughter,” she maintained.

Meanwhile, Sister Thomas said that the school will see to the medical expenses of the injured students and added that precautions would be taken to prevent such incidents from recurring in the future.

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