The portion of the wall that fell on the schoolchildren in Chandrakona. (Samir Mondal)
Midnapore, Oct. 12: A Class IV student was killed and three others, including his elder brother, were injured when a portion of the boundary wall of their school fell on them in West Midnapore’s Chandrakona this morning.
“The students were waiting near the boundary wall for the school bell to ring when a portion of it collapsed around 9.45am. Amanul Mondal, 10, died of head injury. His elder brother Joshim, a Class IV student, and two others were injured,” a police officer said.
Amanul and Joshim have three brothers, all of whom are mentally challenged, their farmer father said.
Police have arrested the headmistress of Khanadanga Primary School and the president and the secretary of the erstwhile managing committee on the basis of a complaint by the block development officer alleging use of inferior material to build the wall and negligence.
Joshim, 11, has been admitted to Midnapore Medical College Hospital. He suffered head and chest injuries and has been prescribed a CT scan and a chest X-ray. The two others of Class III suffered minor injuries and were admitted to the Chandrakona block hospital.
An official in the BDO’s office said the wall was constructed with inferior-quality material in 2009. “The wall may have collapsed because of heavy rain yesterday,” he said.
The official said more sand had been used than cement to construct the wall. “No rods were used to hold the wall together,” he added.
The BDO of Chandrakona block-II, Saikat Hazra, said: “It has to be probed how much funds had been allotted to build the wall and how they were utilised.” The school has so far failed to furnish documents related to the funds.
Amanul and Joshim’s father Ashraf said: “Three of my five sons are mentally challenged. All my hopes were pinned on Amanul and Joshim. Amanul is gone and I don’t know what will happen to Joshim.”
A doctor of Midnapore Medical College Hospital said he had prescribe a CT scan to see if Joshim had suffered an internal haemorrhage. “He has suffered chest injuries too. So I have also suggested a chest X-ray,” the doctor, who refused to be quoted, said.
Sheikh Kamal, a villager, said he was working in his field when he heard a loud thud. “I ran towards the school and saw some children were trapped under a wall that had collapsed. I shouted for help and farmers working in nearby fields rushed to the rescue. We removed the broken portion of the wall and took the children to hospital in a car,” Kamal said.