Student pushed to death during safety drill

NEW DELHI: Indian police have arrested a drill instructor who pushed a university student from the second floor of a building to her death during a bungled training exercise, officials said Friday.

Horrified onlookers watched as the 19-year-old struck a concrete landing after being shoved off a ledge by the instructor.

A crowd of students positioned below with a crash net could only watch as the young student cracked her head violently in the awkward fall before tumbling to the ground.

The whole incident was captured on video and provoked outrage after the footage went viral on social media.

“We are investigating who organised the drill and we have arrested the trainer,” a local police officer in southern Coimbatore city, where the accident occurred, told AFP.

“She sustained fatal injuries on her neck and head. The trainer has been charged with causing death due to negligence,” said the officer, who requested anonymity as he was not permitted to talk to the media.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), which stages mock disaster drills across India, said it did not organise or sanction Thursday’s event.

“The trainer wasn’t authorised by NDMA to conduct such a drill,” the authority posted on Twitter.

Local media reports said the instructor was not certified to perform such a drill and college authorities had not sought official permission to stage the exercise.

The officials told and Indian TV channel that the so-called instructor, “Arumugam”, is not on its team and was not trained to carry out drills with people.

At about 4pm Thursday, students were being shown how to escape if disaster struck. A video of the training session caught the moments before Logeswari died. She was seen crouching on the ledge, looked too scared to follow Arumugam’s instruction to jump.

Witnesses said Logeswari was afraid though a small group of people below promised to catch her.

She crashed to the ground after hitting the ledge. She was immediately taken to a private hospital nearby, which reportedly refused to treat her and referred her to a government hospital, where she died.

Arumugam has been arrested and charged with causing death by negligence.

Chief Minister E Palaniswami has announced Rs500,000 compensation for Logeswari’s family. “I’ve told the college education department and the police to take strict action,” he told the channel.


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