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TN fire: We helped children, say teachers
July 20, 2004 15:26 IST
Some of the teachers of the Sri Krishna Matriculation school at Kumbakonam, where 90 children perished in a fire, have denied charges that they did not try to save the students and that they were absconding.
Ten teachers questioned by the police claimed they were the first to spot the smoke and had made efforts to douse the fire. They asked the children not to panic. "Lack of infrastructure like fire extinguishers and water had delayed our rescue process," a police official quoting the teachers told PTI.
The teachers said fearing mob fury and police harassment, they remained elusive. They offered full cooperation to the police, the official said.
Some of the teachers had been psychologically hit by charges made against them, the school staff had said.
Usharani and Mariam Angelin, two of the teachers, told the police that teacher Kavitha, who was pregnant, suffered an abortion due to the fire. She knew of the mishap only at the hospital, the teachers told the police.
"Yes. it is fact that 90 children died. But there were 800 students. No one is praising our efforts to save them," Shanti, another teacher said. Teachers evacuated children and two of them helped children cross the busy road.
Teachers blamed the school management for the narrow staircase, which made escape difficult.
A clear picture would emerge on the mishap and role of teachers only after questioning all the teachers, the police said.
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