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The peepal tree was near a gate on the Carmel Convent School campus in Sector 9, Chandigarh.Chandigarh: A 15-year-old student died and 20 other people were injured in Chandigarh today as a 70 feet tall ‘Heritage Tree’ cracked from the ground up and came down on them at Carmel Convent School . Of the injured, at least one student and a woman working as a bus conductor at the Sector-9 school are in a serious condition. They are admitted to the premier PGIMER hospital. The 18 others, all students aged 9-16, are reported out of danger. The “major natural disaster” took place during lunchtime when the children were playing near the tree, said a press release by the UT administration. Questions have now been raised about how the administration did not notice that the tree could be a hazard.Board next to it says the ‘Grand Old Peepal Tree’ is nearly 250 years old with a girth of 33 feet and height of 70 feet.By the evening, three committees were told to inspect and investigate as civil society activists demanded accountability. The inquiry committee under a sub-divisional magistrate — assisted by an officer each from the departments of horticulture and forests — will submit a report in a week, said the Deputy Commissioner. A committee from the municipal corporation will visit schools and other institutions to inspect trees “to avoid any such incident in the future”. Also, the administration directed the local child rights panel to conduct a child safety audit in all schools in the Union Territory. “Most of the children are out of danger and have been discharged from hospitals. Unfortunately, the school has lost one child,” said a press release from the Education Department. The bus conductor and a student — a classmate of the girl who died — were shifted to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), it added.A statement by a group of elderly citizen activists, Second Innings Association, said, “Not merely a tree but the entire system has fallen, resulting in loss of a precious life.””There is a need for a high-level inquiry by an officer of the Ministry of Home Affairs, and also there is a need to review the policy on heritage trees,” it added.Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Cheema was among prominent people who expressed grief.Very Shocking to know the incident at Carmel Convent School Sector 9 at Chandigarh.My Sympathy is with the parents of the injured students n wish them all the speedy recovery..My condolences with the family of deceased student and the departure soul may rest in peace.— Adv Harpal Singh Cheema (@HarpalCheemaMLA) July 8, 2022Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal also tweeted a video of the school campus from after the incident. Pained to learn that a student died and several others were injured at Carmel Convent School, Chandigarh, after a tree fell on them.I extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and pray for the speedy & complete recovery of all injured students. pic.twitter.com/eNt6WAGFHN— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) July 8, 2022Founded in 1959, Carmel Convent is among the most sought-after schools in Chandigarh.



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