Mass Burial For 6 Pupils

Caskets containing the bodies at the cemetary whiles others look on pix two shows Mourners at the scene

The six kindergarten pupils in the Odoben Brakwa District of the Central Region who were smashed to death when their classroom walls collapsed on them, have been laid to rest yesterday.

After some back-and-forth over where to bury them, there was a consensus that it should be in the local cemetery.

And so at the community, a procession of grieving parents, teachers, among others, led the way to two hurriedly dug pits for the mass burial.

The deceased were Shaidah Abdulai, Hebaatu Abdulai, Joana Ayensu, Christiana Annan, Maame Abam and one other whose family did not want the name to be published.

Hundreds of people from Breman Jemera in the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (AOB) District joined families of the six kids to mourn with them.

Some of the people who attended the burial service were directors of education, Members of Parliament (MPs) in the area, teachers, among others.

The burial service which started around 10am, was held in front of the chief’s palace.

Two of the deceased were buried under Islamic tradition while the remaining four were interred according to the Christian faith amidst wailing by their parents, relatives, school mates, residents and sympathisers.

At least 70 children were in the school structure at the time of the incident. Three are still hospitalised and one other discharged.

The school was built by the community, but it was reported that the foundation was weak.

The Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, says government would pay for the cost of treatment and burial of the six children.

In view of that, he donated an amount of GH¢1,000 to each of the parents of the deceased towards the funeral.

The minister has since paid a visit to the school as well as the bereaved families.

Although there was information that the building had developed cracks, the chiefs denied that, saying they only knew that government, through the district assembly, was constructing a new KG and six-unit primary blocks on the compound; but unfortunately did not finish the project when the incident happened.

Dr Opoku Prempeh said that plans were underway to talk to the contractor to speed up work on the new building.

From Sarah Afful, Cape Coast

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