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School Building Wall Collapses Killing 4 Year-Old Kindergarten Girl

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KHON KAEN – A four-old kindergarten girl has been killed and two other children, a parent and two teachers  injured after a school building wall collapsed during heavy rain and strong wind in Khon Kaen province yesterday.

According to initial investigation, the collapse may be linked to modification of the building’s construction plan, said Khon Kaen governor, Somsak Jangtrakul, who inspected the damage at the Penbury private school.

The victim was a kindergarten student and her father, who was walking to pick her up, was injured in the incident.

Concrete debris and shattered glass from the collapsed wall cover the building hall floor as officials begin their safety inspection of storm-damage Penbury School. – Photo Chakrapan Nathanri

The governor said the opaque wall in the original construction plan was modified to add glass windows into the wall. Public Works and Town Planning officials will inspect the building construction and structures again to determine the cause of the collapse.

The school was ordered to close temporarily and the area was cordoned off to prevent danger.

Investigators have initially questioned school administrators but the police have not yet filed charges against anyone pending thorough investigation.

The school was in a total blackout when a storm lashed the school, causing its ceiling on the third floor to collapse and crash into the school’s hall, where the three students were situated.

This kindergarten and primary school was opened in 2014. The three-storey building accommodates almost 400 students. There are about 40 teachers and school staff.

The thunderstorm caused a blackout in most areas of Khon Kaen. On Ruamchit Road, electricity cables were snapped off and a loud explosion was heard. Many people quickly left their houses as they feared for their lives. Officers from the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) had later repaired the damaged cables.