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19.12.2007 General News

Tragedy At Anyaa • Two Kids Die, Another Injured

Two kindergarten pupils of the Happy Souls Academy at Anyaa in the Ga West District who were seen off to school yesterday morning by their parents met their untimely death when a wall of the school building collapsed on them.

A third pupil who sustained serious injuries is on admission at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

Four others who sustained minor injuries have been treated and discharged from Korle-Bu. The Proprietor of the school, Mr Emmanuel Afful, who was at the school when the incident occurred, has been placed in custody at the Anyaa Police Station to assist the police in their investigations.

Mr Afful told the Daily Graphic at the police station just before he was put in cells that he was in his office when he heard some shouts.

He said he rushed out, only to be confronted with the scene of a wall that had collapsed on some of the children who were playing around it.

He said he and the teachers immediately went to the rescue of the children, adding that three of the seriously injured were rushed for first aid treatment at the El Bethel Clinic and Maternity Home at Anyaa, where they were referred to the Korle-Bu Hospital for further treatment.

Mr Afful said on arrival at the clinic, the midwife declared two of the three children as already dead, while the third one, who was in a state of unconsciousness, was put on drip and rushed to Korle-Bu for intensive care. The two dead pupils were deposited at the mortuary of the same hospital for autopsy.

The proprietor, in a statement to the Anyaa Police, gave the names of the dead as Sarah Siw and Samuel Mbaye, both four, while Benedict Djan Agyei is the one currently on admission at the ICU of Korle-Bu.

Madam Becky Ansong, the midwife in charge of the El Bethel Clinic, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that when a taxi pulled up at the clinic with three kids, she found out that two of them were already dead.

The third was attended to and taken quickly in a waiting taxi to the Korle-Bu. A visit to the school revealed a sad spectacle, with bloodstained walls and floor and parents trooping there to find out whether their children had been affected.

Mr Kofi Twum, a parent who has three children in the school and who helped in the rescue operation, said seven children were caught by the collapsed building, with three seriously affected, while four sustained minor injuries.

He, however, said his three children were not injured, since they were far from the wall when it collapsed.
Mr Twum said some parents came to the school to either take their children home or to clinics within the vicinity for medical check-ups.

Later, officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), led by EX WO 1 Brookman Mensah of the Rapid Response Unit, arrived in the school to cordon off the danger area to prevent schoolchildren from playing around the remaining standing wall.

Story by Abdul Aziz