M A I N   N E W S

School Fire
Staff airlifted; CM visits site
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, February 12
The authorities today airlifted 14 staff members, including four fathers, from the Don Bosco School in Palin in Arunachal Pradesh after enraged locals attacked the institution in wake of Wednesday’s fire tragedy that left 14 children dead.

The school has been declared closed till normalcy returns. “Fourteen staffers of the school were airlifted to Itanagar today after locals started attacking the institution. Rest of the staff members are likely to be airlifted tomorrow,” principal of the school, Father Jose K told The Tribune over phone.

The school, anticipating trouble after fire gutted a thatched private hostel yesterday, has already vacated its hostels where 80 boys and 90 girls were lodged.Father Jose lamented absence of a fire service station in Palin where thatched houses often catch fire during the dry season. He said there were two such private hostels in Palin.

Meanwhile, a high-level team, lead by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, today visited the accident site and met the bereaved parents. He handed over Rs 20 lakh to the district administration for providing immediate financial assistance to the affected families. He announced a high-powered committee would probe into the tragedy and take action.

Addressing bereaved parents gathered at the auditorium of Don Bosco School, the CM said: “The tragedy could have been averted had proper attention was paid to safety measures. It’s really appalling that so many children were accommodated in a small hostel which just had a single entry and exit.” Khandu informed that the state’s education policy, which was being finalised soon, would have adequate provisions to monitor safety norms in schools.




A heroic tale

A little hero has emerged out of the ashes of Holy Angel private hostel in Palin that was gutted in a raging fire yesterday, killing 14 out of the total 62 inmates. When the building went up in flames, a Class V standard boy kept his cool and helped several children to get out, but failed to save himself in the process.An official source, quoting eyewitnesses, informed that as the fire spread the little ‘hero’ Takam did not panic at all and woke up children who were fast asleep. He helped at least seven inmates to get out of house before being engulfed by the raging inferno.Locals and bereaved parents today requested the Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu to set up a memorial in the boy’s name. Khandu assured that a committed headed by Education Minister Bosiram Siram would look into the request.



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