Staff Reporter

Police investigating whether it was a case of negligence by the institution

CHENNAI: The death of a seven year old in the playpen of Bains School on Ormes Road, Kilpauk, has turned the spotlight on safety of play equipment for kids as well as the schools' responsibility in ensuring safety of students.

Chris Michael died after sustaining head injuries while playing on a climbing frame, a vertically-mounted hexagonal play device on Wednesday. The Kilpauk police said a rusted rod in the equipment gave way when the children climbed it. Chris was trapped underneath and crushed. Two other students sustained minor injuries.

Chris's father Samuel Vasanthan received a phone call from the boy's school van driver around 9.30 a.m. "He said something very bad happened to my son and asked me to rush to the school... " By the time he reached the school, the boy was taken to a nearby private clinic. He was then taken to Kilpauk Medical College, where he was pronounced dead and a post mortem was conducted.

The grieving father said he submitted a statement to the police outpost at KMC.

According to the police, principal Lenora James, in a complaint filed on Wednesday, said that the boy died in an accident while playing on the climber. Despite repeated attempts over the telephone, the school authorities could not be reached.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police (Kilpauk) Murugan said they were investigating whether it was a case of negligence by the school. The death has been recorded under Section 174 of CrPC (suspicious death).

Fatally hit

In Poonamallee, a student of Class VIII at St. John's International Residential School, died after being hit by a cricket ball on Thursday. According to school authorities, during a game of cricket, the ball ricocheted off the boy's bat and hit him in the throat. He fell and fainted. A medical officer from the school hospital alerted Apollo Hospital that the boy was being brought there. But on the way, the boy's condition became worse and was taken to a hospital at Koyambedu. He was declared dead there. The body was handed over to his parents on Friday. The Poonamallee police are investigating.