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'Helpful' pupil hurt by falling gate

By Susan Mohammed susan.mohammed@trinidadexpress.com

A pupil of Anjuman Sunnat ul Jamaat Association (ASJA) Primary School at Point Fortin was taken to hospital yesterday after a sliding steel gate fell on him.

The child, a Standard Two pupil, suffered a head wound and possible fractures to his leg and arm.

The incident occurred around 7.45 a.m. when the child and others were passing through the gateway to exit the compound of a mosque at Alleyne Street, located next door to the school at Bryce Road.

The ASJA mosque compound is often used as a short cut by pupils to access their school, the Express was told. Roger Panlflk, 44, who lives across the street from the mosque, assisted the child.

He told the Express: "My mom started screaming and I saw the child under the gate. I ran across and tried to lift the gate off him. Children and a lady who was in the car park were also struggling, trying to lift the gate, but we couldn't do it. Two other men, emergency medical technicians, were nearby and all of us got the gate off him.

The child was bleeding from his head."

He said the paramedics bandaged the child's head and placed a neck brace on him.

Ten minutes later an ambulance arrived and took the child to the San Fernando General Hospital.

An official at the school told the Express to refer all enquiries to the ASJA Board.

Calls to the cell phone of president of the ASJA Board, Yacoob Ali, were not answered.

The Ministry of Education's media relations coordinator Yolanda Morales-Carvalho said, according to information she received, the child was closing the gate after a vendor drove into the car park with a vehicle.

"He was trying to be helpful and close the gate for someone, a vendor, when she parked. He took it upon himself to close the gate. According to the report, no one had asked him, he was just trying to be helpful."

Morales-Carvalho said the policy at the school was that children were not allowed to go to the mosque without teachers present.

"We are trying to find why he was there," she said.

She said Student Support Service will provide counselling to the injured child and, if necessary, to the other children who witnessed the incident.

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