HYDERABAD: Four students fell unconscious and several others complained of uneasiness after inhaling some gases that emanated from the science laboratory of a school near Golconda in the old city of Hyderabad on Friday.
The incident occurred at around 11.20 am on the first floor of Indian School of Excellence in Gulshan Colony. The school has three classrooms and a science lab. As many as 680 students from Nursery to Class-X study at the school that is 10 years old.
About 20 students of Class-VI were writing their mid-term examination in the lab when the penchant smell engulfed the room. They started coughing and suffered breathing difficulties. Soon the smell spread to other rooms, forcing the management to evacuate the school.
“Sixteen students were taken to a nearby hospital immediately after they complained of breathing problem. Twelve of them were sent back soon while four were kept under observation,” said Tanveer Kamil, correspondent of the school.
Police have registered a case of negligence against the management which, however, claimed that the penchant smell had come with the wind from outside.
Golconda police suspect that a chemical bottle in the lab fell down on the floor, releasing a gas and the smell that caused discomfort to students. “With conflicting statements and lack of circumstantial evidence, we are unable to say what has happened. Our clues team is probing the incident,” said the police.
“Chemicals were kept in closed cupboards and some of them might have expired. Some amount of leakage seemed to have happened. Maybe, it was not closed properly when it was used last time. The lab remained closed for four days and when it was opened on Friday, all of it came out,” said inspector Khaleel Pasha.
Bhanuprakash, a teacher at the school and also parent, struck a different note and asserted that the lab portion of the room had been shut for the ongoing examinations and that no mysterious chemicals were stored in the school.