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4 children killed, two hurt as
building crumbles on rickshaw
Tribune News Service

A view of the building that collapsed on a rickshaw carrying schoolchildren in Karnal on Thursday.
A view of the building that collapsed on a rickshaw carrying schoolchildren in Karnal on Thursday. Photo by Gurmeet Singh Bhinder

Karnal, June 9
Four schoolchildren were killed and two others seriously injured this afternoon when an old building crumbled down on a rickshaw in which they travelling on way to their homes after attending a summer camp at a local school here. Three of them died on the spot while another succumbed to his injuries during treatment at a hospital.

The three injured children, an old woman living in the building and the rickshaw-puller, who also got minor injuries, were taken to the local Civil Hospital for treatment. One child died two hours after reaching the hospital. The old woman and the rickshaw-puller were said to be out of danger while the other two injured children were still battling for life.

The District Magistrate, Mr Shyamal Mishra, has announced a compensation of Rs 25,000 each to the families of the deceased and Rs 8,000 each to the injured. He has also ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. The inquiry will be conducted by the city magistrate with the assistance of the Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Those who died on the spot were identified as Mayank (5), son of Mr Vivek Khera , Kumari Nitika (6), daughter of Mr Rakesh Kumar and Harpreet Kaur (12), daughter of Mr Sarabhjit Singh all local residents. The injured children, Kumari Megha (14), daughter of Mr Dalip Kumar, Kumari Shreya (6), daughter of Mr Dalip Kumar, and Aman (6), son of Mr Dinesh Kumar, were taken to the Civil Hospital by nearby shopkeepers in the Sadar Bazar area where the incident took place. Shreya lost her breath even as the doctors attending on her tried their best to save her life.

The school students were returning home after attending the summer camp classes at Violet Field Public School. When the rickshaw in which they were travelling reached near Gandhi Chowk in the Sadar Bazar area, a building in a ruined condition, owned by Lachhman Dass, collapsed all of a sudden and debris fell on them. The owner of the building fled from his home when the police went there to arrest him.

Mr Rajinder Makkar, president of the Sadar Bazar Market Association, who was present on the site alleged that neither the Karnal SP nor any official on duty in the police control room picked up the phones. The shopkeepers came forward and pulled out the children from under the debris, he said.

He said the ambulance reached the site about 40 minutes after the incident. By the time, the shopkeepers had already taken five children to the hospital on scooters and motor cycles. The ambulance carried the body of one student to the hospital for a post-mortem examination. A police team also reached the place about half an hour after the incident took place, said another shopkeeper.

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Karnal and Administrator of the local municipal council, Mr Girish Arora, had constituted a five-member team of the municipal council to conduct a field survey and identify vulnerable old buildings. Notices will be issued to the owners of the buildings which are in a deplorable condition. These will be dismantled to avoid any such incident in future.

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