At least 18 children were buried alive and six others injured on
Wednesday when the roof of a primary school collapsed following
heavy rains in Kapkot area of Uttarakhand's Bageshwar district.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank said the search
and rescue teams have recovered the bodies of 18 children from the
debris so far while search is on to find out others.
The roof of the Saraswati Shishu Mandir at Sumgad village collapsed
on Wednesday morning when the children were studying, burying them
under the debris, he said.
Six other children were also rescued safely with minor injuries from
the debris, he added.
The Chief Minister also announced ex-gratia of Rs 50,000 each to the
families, which have lost their children.
Despite bad weather, the rescue and search operation is going on in
the affected area, said official sources.
Nearly a dozen houses were also flattened due to incessant rains in
the nearby Harsiabagad area due to a cloudburst. An administrative
team has been rushed to the area, they said.
Bageshwar District Magistrate D S Garbiyal said the tragedy occurred
due to heavy landslides triggered by torrential rains at the hill
where the school is situated.
Rescue teams from the district headquarters had a tough time
reaching the spot after the bridge linking the area with Kapkot also
collapsed due to heavy rains last night, Bageshwar District
Development Officer S K Singh said.
However, locals sprang into action immediately after the incident
and safely brought six children out of the rubble, he said.
There were 30 students attending the classes at the school when the
tragedy occurred, he said.