Srinagar: In an astonishing and horrifying incident, an entire ceiling of a lecture hall in the Department of Economics at the University of Kashmir came crashing down, injuring some thirty students.
As per reports, the students who were attending their morning class received the shock of their lives when the entire ceiling of their classroom collapsed on them and their teacher. The injured students were immediately rushed to the Medical Healthcare Centre of the University for treatment.
Our sources reveal that two of the students, who had sustained serious injuries, were referred to SKIMS. They were discharged after proper treatment. Thankfully, majority of the students sustained only minor injuries and were discharged after being given first aid.
We were attending an early class so that we could finish our syllabus. 15 minutes into the class, the students at the back started screaming and we noticed the ceiling falling, said a visibly shaken student. The concerned teacher was not available for comment but according to the students, she along with a few other students ensured that all the students were evacuated before the ceiling completely caved in. The said teacher, who is being tremendously appreciated by the students as well as the faculty for her efforts, is said to have fractured her arm in the process.
The incident has raised some serious concerns over the safety of the buildings in the University of Kashmir. The University of Kashmir admits around 3000 students every year in its various departments. Being quite ancient, most of the departments of the University are housed in old buildings which appear quite unsafe, especially given the high vulnerability of our valley to earthquakes.
A few students told Kashmir Observer that a safety check had been ordered by the University on the said building a few weeks back. But despite the audit, the University continued to allow the students to be taught in the building, putting their lives at risk. They also said that the entire ceiling of the building, which has been constructed in 1981, is only supported by a single 8mm thick support. According to these students, the officials of the University were busy passing the buck, as is the norm in such cases. While the HOD blamed the University administration, the administration was busy blaming the faculty of the department. Some students even received a few hilariously foolish replies to their queries regarding why they were allowed to study in a clearly unsafe building. As per a student, an official of the university blamed the collapse on the huge amount of bird droppings that had accumulated on the ceiling since its construction. Another official is said to have asked the students to find the HOD who ordered the construction of the department and ask him why he didnt construct a safer and sturdier ceiling. The HOD of the said department and the VC couldnt be contacted for a comment on this matter.
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