CHENNAI: A near-stampede situation was averted at the Birla Planetarium, where around 3,500 children assembled for a maths test on Sunday. The 90-minute test had been organised by the TN Science and Technology Centre to identify talent for the National Maths Day on December 22 in remembrance of S Ramanujan.
According to parents, around 3,000 children of Class V- IX from various schools in Chennai and a few other districts, came rushing out from the exam hall and were bewildered when they couldn’t spot their parents in the crowd on the other side. As the children started crying, some of the parents began to scream in tension.
“A few parents managed to cross over and handled the situation by using a microphone, but it was just too chaotic. Thankfully a stampede situation was averted, which would have otherwise occurred,” said Vinod, a parent. He added that only 10 to 12 members of the organising team were handling the situation at the gate.
“The organisers should have let out the children in batches. Instead, all came rushing out at the same time,” another parent Natraj noted. An organising committee member claimed the situation was brought under control soon. “When we saw a large number of parents at the gate, we sent some of the children back into the hall and later let them out in batches,” he said, adding that announcements too were made. The team, he said, comprised 70 members.