Classroom wall collapses, no one injured

Kindergarten students were vacated from the area half an hour before

Updated - September 10, 2015 05:42 am IST

Published - September 10, 2015 12:00 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:

Several students of the Ponnara Sreedhar Memorial Government Model Upper Primary School at Muttathara here had a lucky escape on Wednesday when a wall of the building that had two classrooms and a mess caved in, barely an hour after they had left the mess hall after lunch.

The wall collapsed around 2 p.m., after the students, mainly from lower and upper kindergarten classes, were shifted to another room for their regular siesta after lunch around 1.30 p.m.

The rest of the students in the building, which has five other classrooms, and nearly 70 students in the LKG and UKG wings, were moved to safety immediately after the portion of the wall in one side of the building collapsed.

Locals said it could have been the almost incessant rains since evening on Tuesday that weakened the wall. However, for a building that was just over eight years old, having been constructed in 2007, collapsing after one night’s rain sounded dangerous and indicated faulty construction, they said.

The Fort police, who have registered a case based on a complaint from the school authorities, too sounded similar concerns. Statements from the teachers and staff have been recorded and an investigation is on.

Health Minister and local legislator V.S. Sivakumar, who visited the school after the incident, said a new building would be constructed, for which Rs.50 lakh would be sanctioned from his MLA fund.

It was only because the students had been shifted to another room for their siesta that they escaped from the collapse, the Minister noted, stating that a detailed probe would be held into the collapse of the building, constructed under the aegis of the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation.

The Minister was accompanied by councillors B. Rajendran and P. Padmakumar, school headmaster D. Sudarshanan and PTA president Sreevaraham Murali among others. Earlier, local BJP activists took out a protest and staged a sit-in in front of the school demanding immediate reconstruction of the building. They also alleged that the collapse indicated corruption in the construction of the structure.

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