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Kumbakonam school fire tragedy: Court verdict awaited today

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 - 10:50am IST | Place: Kumbakonam | Agency: Zee Media Bureau
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A Thanjavur district court will on Wednesday deliver its verdict in the Kumbakonam school fire tragedy case, which claimed the lives of 94 school children and injured 18 others nearly a decade ago. 

the tragedy occurred on July 16, 2004, when a fire broke out in the school's kitchen, which was used to prepare midday meals for the children, and then spread to the first floor due to the school's thatched roof. 

The tragedy claimed the lives of ninety-four children, all between the ages of five and nine. After preliminary investigation it was found that the school teachers have abandoned the children struck in the fire.

The court verdict will decide on the fate of 21 accused that includes the owners of the building, teachers and government officials. 

It came to light later that three schools, including a government-aided institution, functioned in the same building even without a municipal license.

Authorities from various departments had certified the school building's structural stability, sanitation and student strength without making a single visit. On the day of the tragedy, an inspection was expected over an administration issue. In a bid to boost attendance and to claim grants and teacher postings, investigators say the school had fraudulently packed the private school children in the aided school wing. 

Special Public Prosecutor Madhu Sudhanan said that the prosecution has pressed for the maximum punishment for the accused in the case.




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