A case has been registered against Persis Gnanaselvi, the headmistress of the Schaffter Higher Secondary School in Tirunelveli, after three students were killed due to a wall collapse on Friday, December 17. In addition, four students were injured as well, and are receiving treatment at Tirunelveli Medical College and Hospital. The British-era school is over 130 years old, and is a government-aided institution.
The students went to the toilet around 11 am, when one of the covering walls around the urinal fell on the students who went to the urinal, crushing them as well as grievously injuring a few. The deceased were identified as Vishwa Ranjan (Class 8), Anbazhagan (Class 9) and Sudhish (Class 6). Sudhish succumbed to his injuries when he was taken to the hospital.
Tirunelveli District Collector V Vishnu visited the students at the hospital and inquired about their health. â€œA preliminary analysis by the PWD department has shown that the wall has not been built on a properly laid basement," he said. The District Collector also said that in the next 48 hours, all government and private schools will be surveyed by a special team.
A solatium of Rs 10 lakh has been announced for the kin of the deceased by Chief Minister MK Stalin, who expressed his condolences. Those injured in the wall collapse will get Rs 3 lakh.
There was a massive traffic jam in front of the school following the accident. Flowerpots and windowpanes in the school were smashed, there was some damage in classrooms and the windscreen of an auto was smashed as well. Students could be seen on camera demanding that those responsible for the collapse of the wall be arrested.
It is suspected that the structure was weakened due to the recent incessant rains. Tirunelveli police commissioner NK Senthamarai Kannan said that there will be inquiry into the incident and action will be taken against those responsible
The School Education Department has directed the Chief Educational Officer of the district to conduct an inquiry and submit a report.