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Indian School Stampede Leaves 5 Students Dead

  • Anjana Pasricha

In India, five school girls were killed and 30 other students were injured following in a stampede at a public school in New Delhi.

The tragedy resulted when students got jammed in a narrow staircase, but it is not clear what exactly sparked the stampede.

All those killed were girls between the ages of eight and 15. Hospital authorities say other students have sustained serious injuries.

Joint Police Commissioner Dharmendra Kumar says the students were killed and injured as many of them scrambled to climb to the upper story of the two-story school building, while others tried to come down.

"Apparently the stair case was very narrow and most of the children got stuck there, and 32 kids were injured out of which 31 were girls and one was a boy," he said.

Reports say students apparently rushed out after an announcement asking them to vacate their classrooms because of fears that there was an electric short circuit in a flooded classroom. About 1,500 students were in the school at the time when the stampede occurred.

New Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit has ordered an investigation.

Dikshit says they have no immediate explanation for the tragedy. But she promised action against any those guilty of negligence.

A huge crowd of angry parents and residents in the area gathered outside a police station, close to the school demanding answers. Others rushed to hospitals. Many complained that they were not able to get information about their injured children.