A 19-year-old student at a private college in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district died on Thursday after she was forced to jump off the second floor of a building during a disaster preparedness drill. The police have arrested R Arumugam, the “trainer” who conducted the drill, ANI reported.
A video clip of the incident shows N Logeswari, a second-year student at Kovai Kalaimagal College of Arts and Science, sitting on the ledge while the trainer nudges her to jump, reported The Indian Express. A group of students is seen waiting on the ground with a net to catch her, but she hit her head on the ledge of the first floor as she jumped and died.
“When she was reluctant to jump off the second floor, she was being pushed by the trainer,” an unidentified police officer said.
An investigating officer told The News Minute that at least 20 students had taken part in the training drill and some of them had jumped safely into the net before Logeswari.
Authorities of the college told the police that the drill was conducted by the National Disaster Management Authority of India, reported The Hindu. Commissioner of Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Agency, which functions under the NDMAI, Rajendra Ratnoo, however, said he was not aware of the training conducted at the college. “All training sessions of the NDMAI are conducted only through the District Collector,” he said.
NDMA officials told NDTV that Arumugam is not registered with it as an instructor and has not been trained to carry out such drills. Arumugam has been charged with causing death due to negligence.
Higher Education Minister KP Anbalagan said an inquiry would be conducted and action would be taken against those found guilty.
A senior police officer told The Hindu that a case would be registered against the college and the trainer for conducting the drill with “utter negligence and without adequate safety measures”.
The Tamil Nadu government announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation for the family of the student’s family, ANI reported.