Eight students and a teacher of a government school received burn injuries when an iron pole came in contact with a livewire in Ghazi tehsil, police and teachers said on Wednesday.
Students of Government Primary School for Boys Aldard in Aldo Ghazi village were preparing for their morning assembly when the accident took place. Some students were shifting a 20-feet long iron pole for hoisting the national flag as is their routine practice. However, the pole accidentally came in contact with 11KV high-voltage lines passing overhead, leaving eight students of fourth and fifth grades along with a teacher injured.
They were shifted to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Ghazi from where seven students were referred to POF Hospital Wah Cantt where the condition of three students was said to be critical, according to police and hospital sources.
The injured were identified as teacher Naved Ali, two students named Ehsanullah, Atif Zaman, Hazrat Ali, Atif Rehman, Muhammad Jibran, Zahidur Rehman and Zain Ali.
Commenting on the accident, Ghazi Assistant Commissioner Syed Jawad Muzaffar said three children—Jibran, Zain Ali and Zahidur Rehman—are in critical condition. Quoting POF Hospital sources, the AC added Jibran suffered 60% burn injuries and is on the ventilator, while Zain and Zahid suffered 40% burn injuries and are being treated in the intensive care unit.
Muzaffar said shifting the pole was actually the responsibility of school employees, but since none were present at the time, the children were forced to do so themselves.
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has taken strong exception of the incident. In a handout issued shortly after, he summoned a detailed report of the incident from the district administration and asked for ascertaining reasons and fixing responsibility for the cause of the incident as well as directions for taking effective measures to avoid such mishaps in the future.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2014.