Two stampede victims battling for life

"Usha (15) and Ruchi (12) are still in critical condition. They are under constant monitoring," O P Kalra, Superintendent of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, where the victims are admitted, said.

Five girls were killed and 34 other students injured, six of them critically, in a stampede in the Government Senior Secondary School in north-east Delhi on Thursday. He said the four other critically injured patients, who were put on life support, were out of danger.

Kalra said though the final autopsy report was awaited, initial reports suggested there were no injuries due to electrocution. Most probably, these children were trampled to death, he said, pointing out at injuries in the abdomen, chest and the arms.

Initial reports said a rumour about electric charge in water led to the stampede, but locals refuted it saying that the area had no power supply at the time of the incident.

The stampede took place when students were trying to make their way up and down a narrow staircase when they were asked to shift classrooms flooded with rain water during an examination. Around 1,300 students including boys, had come for the examination in heavy downpour.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has ordered a high-level probe and announced compensation of Rs one lakh to the next of kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 each to the injured.

Kalra said condition of other students, who were hospitalised, is stable. Three patients were discharged yesterday itself, he said. Several victims and witnesses have told the police that some boys were teasing girls, leading to the stampede.

The Delhi Police has registered a case of death due to negligence but the FIR does not mention any name. Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly V K Malhotra and Delhi Mayor Kanwar Sain have demanded a proper enquiry into the incident and asked the government to have a look at other schools to avoid such incidents.

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