Published: 09th September 2019
Tamil Nadu Tragedy: Sports day torch burns Class 12 boy to death
Vignesh was a badminton player in the school and had participated in state level competitions
A Class 12 boy succumbed to severe burns ten days after the fire from the torch fell over him during the sports day event on August 30. Police said that the boy was informed about carrying the torch only the previous day and instead of kerosene and coal, the school had used petrol to fuel the torch.The victim identified as M Vignesh (17) a resident of Kalaivanar Nagar in Chengalpattu. Vignesh was studying class 12 in a private school that was run a religious trust, said the police.
"Vignesh was studying in Ramakrishna Mission Boys higher secondary school which hosted the sports day event on August 30. The school run by the Ramakrishna mission has three schools in the locality. The combined sports day event for all the three schools happened at the Ramakrishna Mission boys Higher secondary school," said the police officer.
Vignesh was a badminton player in the school and had participated in state level competitions. The police said that Vignesh carried the torch from the stage and was on the way to pass it on to another student, when the fire from the torch fell over him due to heavy wind.Preliminary investigations revealed that the staff incharge of the torch had used petrol as fuel instead of standard kerosene or coal.
"The torch was filled with some coal, incense and they had poured petrol on the top of it for it to catch fire instantly. When the wind hit the torch, the petrol and fire fell on the face and chest of Vignesh," said the police officer.
The school did not have fire safety equipment or had they informed the fire service department prior to the sports day event, said the police sources. The staff and students put off the fire from Vignesh with water and blankets and rushed him to the Chengalpattu Government hospital after informing his father.
"On August 30, he went to school as usual and at around 9.30am, we received a call saying that Vignesh sustained burn injuries and that he has been taken to the Chengalpattu Government hospital. I was working in a place near Vandalur and ran to the hospital. The teacher who informed me did not mention what happened inspite of me repeatedly asking him. He dodged saying it was a minor injury and that nothing is serious," said Murugan, Vignesh's father who is working as a daily wage labour.
Vignesh was kept in the hospital for three days and then shifted to the Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital in Chennai. On Sunday night, Vignesh who had suffered 43 percent burn injuries died. The Chengalpattu Town police registered a case and the school management had declared three days holiday. Police personnel are placed infront of the school for the ongoing enquiries. "The school management had told the police that they had taken care of the medical treatment and given us compensation, when they haven't even met us till date," said Murugan. Meanwhile, the police have not detained any of the staff from the school for enquiry and they have filed a case of unnatural death.