High power committee to go into causes of hostel fire

High power committee to go into causes of hostel fire

High power committee to go into causes of hostel fire

Officials inspect the site of a fire at a children’s hostel in Palin, in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday. PTI

Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, who along with education minister Bosiram Siram and other officials flew into Palin in Kurung Kumey district this morning, announced the decision after meeting the grief-striken parents and the school authorities.

Khandu also visited the spot where the hostel, made entirely of bamboo with tin roof, once stood.

The education minister said the government is drafting an education policy requiring authorities of hostels, including those run by private individuals, to give special emphasis on safety and hygiene so that recurrence of the tragedy does not take place.
The chief minister handed over Rs 20 Lakh to the Assistance Deputy Commissioner for immediate relief. Khandu expressed anguish over absence of the Deputy Commissioner even 36 hours after the incident.

The residents of this remote village said 10 charred bodies have been identified and buried in the compound of the school. Four missing students are presumed dead while four of the seriously injured are shifted to Itanagar hospitals. According to an eyewitness, the 62 inmates who were fast asleep in the hostel were mostly studying in Kinder Garten and standard one.

Forty-eight children survived the tragedy with some suffering burn injuries.
The villagers said the toll could have been higher but for the brave rescue efforts of a senior student of the school. The student jumped into the leaping flames bringing out the victims one after another and thus saved seven lives. But after his eighth bid he was not seen coming out and was presumed dead.

Referring to the demand of the grieving parents to associate names of the victims with the school to keep their memories alive, the chief minister assured them that the education minister will chair a committee comprising the MP and MLAs among others to look into the demand.

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