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12-year-old dies, friend hurt after gate of unopened civic school falls on them


NAVI MUMBAI: In a freak accident that ended in a tragedy, a 12-year-old lost his life and his friend was injured after an iron gate of a yet-to-be-commissioned civic school in Sector 11 of Kopar Khairane fell on the two boys on Friday.
Bonkode resident Saurabh Chaudhari (12) succumbed to severe head injuries. He was playing cricket with Nilesh Devre (14) and a few others inside the school compound. Around 9.30am, Chaudhari and Devre tried to slide the gate shut on the roller to ensure that the cricket ball stayed inside the compound. When they were struggling to shut the heavy iron gate, though, it came off the hinges and fell on them.
P Jawade, medical superintendent, NMMC Vashi Hospital, said Chaudhari was brought in, in an unconscious condition and he was gasping for breath. “He was placed on the ventilator but had to be shifted to Fortis Hospital as he was in the critical stage.”
The building, which was constructed in 2008 at a cost of Rs 34 crore, is yet to be commissioned. “The school is yet to be handed over to the education department and is still with the civil engineering department. A security guard-cum-supervisor has been appointed and he had even warned the boys against playing in the compound,” said additional municipal commissioner Ramesh Chavan.
Sunil Chaudhari (41), father of the deceased who is a tailor, was inconsolable and held NMMC responsible for his loss. “My son has become a victim of negligence of the NMMC contractor who had not fixed the iron gate properly and had left the work incomplete without deploying any attendant. The concerned persons should be given severe punishment,” said Chaudhari whose son was a student of R F Naik School, Koper Khairane, and had completed Class IV.
NMMC commissioner Ramaswami N said an inquiry will be conducted “to ascertain what led to the accident and appropriate action will be taken”. Kopar Khairane police inspector (crime) Sunil Gawli said, “We have registered an FIR against the concerned NMMC contractor, supervisor and officials.” The accused have been booked under IPC sections 304A (causing death by negligence), and 337 and 338 (causing hurt by an act endangering life).

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