HIGH SCHOOL ROOF COLLAPSES, 7 PUPILS INJURED
SEVEN pupils from Maranatha High School in Bulawayo were rushed to hospital after they suffered injuries when the school’s newly constructed double storey building roofing collapsed due to strong winds.
The pupils from the Nketa 7 suburb located Seventh Day Adventist church-run school were rushed to the United Bulawayo Hospitals on Wednesday. Four were treated for minor injuries while three were treated for shock.
The incident occurred at about 3PM. It drew all the city’s emergency departments while parents also rushed to the scene to check if their children were safe.
In an interview on Wednesday, Bulawayo acting Provincial Education Director, Mrs Olicah Kaira, who visited the scene soon after learning about the incident, described it as a disaster.
She said it was fortunate that most of the pupils had gone home when disaster struck.
“I got a phone call from the District Schools Inspector just after 4PM advising me that the newly
constructed science laboratory at Maranatha High School had been blown away by strong winds. The message from the DIS shocked me because I could tell from the tone of his voice that he was also in shock.
“I said to him have we managed to make sure that pupils are safe and he assured me that a number of them had left school but four were injured. Two ambulances rushed them to the United Bulawayo Hospitals. Three others were admitted for shock but the rest were discharged,” said Mrs Kaira.
She said upon her arrival, she found the Bulawayo Fire Brigade Department sifting the debris to ensure no one had been buried beneath.
Mrs Kaira said the roof collapse could have been a result of shoddy work but the Ministry would wait for expert advice as investigations into the matter had commenced.
“This is a new thing where we are encouraging schools to build high rise buildings so that we have adequate classroom space for our learners. We were yet to commission the building and give the school a certificate of occupancy so that the pupils could start using the science laboratory,” said Mrs Kaira.
“I’m not a building specialist myself but my assessment and observation points to poor workmanship. I’m yet to get proper advice and guidance on the way to go from experts but we are launching a full scale investigation with the aid of the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works, National Housing.”
She urged parents to remain calm adding that schools remain safe for their children.
Mrs Kaira said the classroom collapse seems to have traumatised some of the pupils who witnessed the incident and the Ministry would today deploy psychologists to attend to them.
She said due to preliminary investigations happening on site, the school was forced to close for business at 11:30AM with normal lessons today (Thursday).
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