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Five school children killed in stampede in Indian capital

FIVE schoolchildren were killed and over 30 injured during a stampede in the Indian capital today, triggered by panic following heavy downpour which lashed the metropolis since early morning, a senior Indian police official said.

"The five killed were all girl students. Some 30 children were also injured in the stampede at Government Senior Secondary School in east of the national capital. All have been admitted to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital where the condition of 10 are said to be serious," said the police official.

The stampede took place after students started rushing out of an arrow staircase amid rumors that there was current in the water due to a short circuit because of incessant rains, said the official.

"In fact, there was an exodus out of the classrooms even as an equal number were trying to make their way up the narrow stairway exit resulting in a stampede, with students falling over each other and down the stairs trying to vacate the building," the police official said.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit has rushed to the hospital to meet the injured children as a high-level investigation panel has been constituted to probe the incident, after parents have alleged that school authorities did little to take care of the children.

She promised to pay 2,000 US dollars in compensation to all the dead children and 1,000 for the injured.

Senior police officials are camping in the school to prevent any kind of untoward incident because of the stampede.

India's highest judiciary, the Supreme Court, had asked all government schools to put in place an emergency evacuation plan.


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