A five-year-old boy died after falling inside an open septic tank in his school in southwest Delhi’s Kapashera area on Wednesday afternoon.
The boy — Ankit Kumar, a student of Class 1 of MCD school number 2 — had reportedly gone to use the washroom after school hours around 12 pm when he accidentally slipped and fell inside the open septic tank.
Ankit reportedly was trapped inside the tank for over an hour before choking to death. Some students, who heard the boy’s scream for help, apparently raised an alarm but couldn’t do much as most of the staff, including teachers, had already left for the day.
Deputy commissioner of police (southwest) RA Sanjeev, said that the police had registered a case of negligence against the school authorities and had asked the principal to join the probe.
Sources said a few of the boy’s classmates tried to reach down and pull him out too, but failed. They then rushed inside the school building to seek help. “The students went and informed a security guard about the incident who called some sewage workers who were cleaning drains in the area,” a senior police officer said.
The sewage workers then went to the school and the boy was fished out from the tank. He was then rushed to Columbia Asia hospital on Gurgaon Road but was declared dead on arrival.
“The hospital authorities informed the police and the school staff also made a PCR call around 1:34pm. The boy was wearing his identity card with the help of which we identified him and informed his parents. The body has been sent for post-mortem to ascertain the exact cause and time of death,” a senior police officer said.
The police said it was a case of negligence on the part of school authorities who had left the septic tank uncovered. “It is the duty of the school to ensure that the sewage tank in covered. We have recorded detailed statements of the students who tried to help Ankit and have asked the staff members of the school, including the principal to join the probe. We have sought details of when the last inspection of the school was conducted, and whether the issue of the uncovered septic tank was raised in it,” police sources said.
An MCD spokesperson later told HT that they had initiated a separate inquiry into the matter. A report will be submitted in the matter in three days. South Delhi mayor Subhash Arya has also sent out notices to schools asking them to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of children inside the schools,” he said.