Just As I Thought


More than 70 children were killed today in a school fire in India.
I’m just incredulous and horrified.

The fire started in the kitchen of the Lord Krishna school as lunch was being cooked for the 450 students, aged between six and 13, including boys and girls. The cause is not yet known.

“Parents were crying, beating their chests and calling out for their children,” a witness, S. Kalidas, told Reuters. “People looked scared. They were running around for help and there was complete panic. It was a huge fire.”

As thick, choking smoke billowed from the buildings, hundreds of volunteers joined firefighters, battling their way through the crowd of anxious parents to fight the blaze and carry out the dead and injured.

Crying parents also crammed the hospital where the dozens of injured children, some horribly burned, were taken.

“Parents are looking at their dead children. It is heartrending,” J. Radhakrishnan, the district’s most senior official, told Reuters from the hospital. “Thousands have gathered here…it is a grave tragedy.”

As the fire raged, rescuers frantically tried to break into the upper floor of one building to free trapped children. Others battled the blaze with hoses from which water barely trickled.

Witnesses said the school’s narrow entrance also may have prevented some of the children from escaping the flames.

The fire at Kumbakonam, a dusty trading town on the banks of the Cauvery River famous for its temples, was the second major fire tragedy in the state this year. More than 50 people were killed in an inferno at a marriage hall in January.

In 1995, at least 400 people, most of them children, died when a fire destroyed a school in northern India.

I’m always astounded at the death toll from events such as fires and earthquakes in other parts of the world — they’re such incredibly high numbers, numbers that one can never imagine here in the U.S. How could so many children be killed in a school fire? How? This is 2004. How can their schools be so unsafe? How?


  • Schools can be unsafe, because, even in 2004, not every country has the wealth and resources of the US. A majority of countries are battling exploding populations with limited resources and crippling poverty. Safe schools vs. food. Tough call.

  • Whenever I hear about these things, I always think “and Republicans are opposed to government regulation.” Resources or no, I am sure our death tolls would be much higher than this here without government watchdogging.

  • Lets say a prayers to all 80 little angels who have left us to be the Almighty God. May their souls rest in peace.

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