Tragedy on Wheels
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Tragedy on Wheels

Hassan : India | Dec 18, 2008 at 10:46 AM PST
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Definitely not news to wake up to, I tell you.

Summary:
TRAGEDY ON WHEELS

  • A private school in Channarayapatna, Hassan district, organises film outing for schoolchildren
  • After the movie, the school bundles more than 140 children into a goods vehicle that can accommodate not more than 20 adults
  • Children complain of suffocation, at least 20 fall unconscious. One of them, Monica, 12, dies on the way to hospital
  • School strikes out-of-court settlement with the girl’s family, pays them Rs 4 lakh in hush money



School stuffs 140 into truck, 12-yr-old dies

Courtesy: TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Hassan: Around 140 children, packed like sardines in a can, were being transported from a theatre to their school in Channarayapatna town. En route, they began finding it difficult to breathe, and Monica, 12, suffocated to death.

At least 40 children were admitted to hospital. The children were students of Purnachandra School in the town, and were returning after watching a Kannada movie in a theatre. They were travelling in a goods vehicle.

Witnesses said the multiutility vehicle was carrying around 140 students, and no teachers reportedly accompanied them. The vehicle is capable of carrying only 15-20 adults.
Alert teachers shifted the students to hospital after around 20 students reportedly fell unconscious in the vehicle. Monica died on the way to hospital. The other students are recovering and said to be out of danger.

Vijaya Kumar, president of Purnachandra School, run by Sridevi Education Trust, was not available for comment. However, school secretary Asha said: “Our school vehicle is under repair so we sent the students in a private goods vehicle. I have nothing more to say.”

The incident sparked off a protest, with hundreds of people staging a dharna in front of the hospital and school, demanding suspension of the school’s licence, and compensation for Monica. Tension prevailed in and around the school till evening, but the situation was under control.

Additional SP Yellappa and Zilla Panchayat president C N Balakrishana visited the spot.
Late reports reaching here said Monica’s parents were yet to register the case with the police.

The school authorities have reportedly settled the case for Rs 4 lakh, after Monica’s family held discussions with the school management. Monica’s father, Vishakantegowda, was not allowed to comment by his family and friends. They reportedly visited the police station and hospital once.

vidyasury is based in Bangalore, Karnataka, India, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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