Child killed as school gate falls on him
When five-year-old Shraban walked to school holding his mother's hand yesterday morning, his mind must've been brimming with the excitement of learning new things and meeting his friends.
However, the school's gate was as far as he could get.
Basana Chakma stood helpless as she watched the large steel gate of Khabangporia Government Primary School collapse on her son, resulting in his death.
Shraban, son of Basana and Pranay Dewan, was a pre-primary level student of the school in Khagrachhari town.
Family members and locals alleged the accident occurred due to the negligence of the school authorities.
Quoting locals, Rabiul Islam, education officer in Khagrachhari Sadar upazila, said, "The gate collapsed on Shraban when he and his mother were entering the school around 9:00am."
He was rushed to Khagrachhari General Hospital in critical condition. When they reached, on-duty doctors declared him dead, he added.
"I was informed by the school's head teacher later in the morning."
The family further blamed negligence in supervision by the LGED and the school management committee, and poor quality of work on the school's structure.
Fatema Meher Yesmin, district primary education officer, said, "We visited the spot after the accident and realised that the gate had been risky even before it collapsed. The school authorities didn't do anything to fix it or even inform us of the matter."
According to Jhinu Chakma, headteacher of the school, the gate became weak at the hinges when a truck lost control and hit it around 20 days ago.
"After that, we kept one side of the gate closed and the other open for entry and exit."
She added that they had informed a contractor to come and fix it but did not get any response.
Jinia Chakma, superintendent of Khagrachhari police, said, "It was the negligence of the authorities that resulted in the accident.
"We handed over the child's body to the family. We are now investigating the incident to see if there was any corruption over fixing of the gate."
No case was filed in this regard till the filing of this report at 7:00pm yesterday.