BHUBANESWAR/PURI : In a tragic incident, a 13-year-old girl died and 23 others were injured after a dilapidated wall caved in near their school under Satyabadi police limits of Puri district, about 52 km from the Capital, on Thursday.
The deceased was identified as Minakshi Satpathy, a Class VIII student of Saraswati Sishu Vidya Mandir of Basukera, about 1.5 km from the local police station. The wall, located outside the school premises, was used by the students to park their bi-cycles.
The injured, all girls, were admitted to Satyabadi Hospital as well as Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar. Seven of them suffered serious injuries while two students were referred to SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack as their condition was stated to be critical. One student was admitted to District Headquarters Hospital at Puri before being shifted to Cuttack.
Puri Collector Arvind Agarwal has ordered a probe into the incident while School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra and Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak rushed to Capital Hospital to take stock of the health status of the injured.
The incident took place at about 4.15 pm when classes were over for the day. As per practice, the girl students were allowed to leave the school premises first.
Even as they were picking up their cycles, the standalone wall crumbled. The students came under the debris and cycles. Many of them suffered head injuries as well as fractures.
Inspector in-charge of Satyabadi, Mrutyunjaya Swain said the wall was part of a house of a local resident.
The old structure is believed to have weakened after the rains in the last few days.
A teacher, Rama Chandra Das, whose daughter was also hurt in the incident, said the school authorities and locals immediately called ambulances and admitted the injured students to the hospital. “Since the wall was about 12 feet tall, the impact was severe. My daughter suffered cracks in her collar bones and sustained head injuries too,” he said.
The Puri district administration will bear the treatment cost of the injured, Agarwal said.