School headmistress still on run

School headmistress still on run

More than 72 hours after the midday meal tragedy at Masrakh school in Bihar’s Saran district snuffed out lives of 23 children, neither Meena Kumari, the absconding headmistress of the school, has been arrested nor any block or district official suspended and no minister has come forward to own moral responsibility for the disaster.

Investigators are trying hard to pin down how “organophosphorous” got mixed with the food. While there are guessworks like accidental mix of insecticides kept nearby with the foodgrain, there are also conspiracy theories, especially after the state education minister said it was an attempt to destabilise the government.

Panic at PMCH

Amid the drama surrounding the tragedy, leaking of gas from a malfunctioning air conditioner triggered panic at the intensive care unit (ICU) of children’s ward at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), where at least three children from Masrakh are undergoing treatment. Many parents rushed out of the campus, giving credence to the rumour that some gas was spreading in the hospital following a short circuit.

Later, the PMCH superintendent clarified that an air conditioner was under repair, and after a short circuit, gas emanated from it. The problem was soon fixed as the administration replaced the malfunctioning AC.

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