Five children killed in Delhi school stampede: CM orders probe

     Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday ordered a high level inquiry into the stampede at a Delhi Government School in East Delhi that killed five students and injured at least 24. Dikshit and state Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely visited the injured and families of the bereaved at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital soon after the tragedy was reported. She announced Rs one lakh as compensation for the bereaved families and Rs 50,000 for those injured and added that the treatment costs would be borne by the Delhi Government. She described the incident as an unfortunate but refused to comment on negligence by the school authorities. “We have decided that the Deputy Commissioner of East Delhi will inquire into the incident. We will take every care of the children in hospital,” Dikshit said. “We greatly regret what happened. This is an accident, which can happen any time. If at all there has been any fault on part of school management, only the inquiry will find out,” she added. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP)(North East Delhi) Surender Singh Yadav said he is yet to ascertain the exact reason for the stampede. “All the kids were called together. Normally, they have space to stand in the compound, but due to the water and the crowd they were asked to go upstairs. The girls were asked to go up and the boys to come down for exams. The stairway is narrow, only 4.5 ft wide and a stampede resulted. Five suffocated, and 21 are still in hospital,” Joint Commissioner of Police Dharmedra Kumar said. He also added that rumours of electrocution are still to be verified. Meanwhile, parents of students agitated outside the school campus.

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