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2 Oct, 2008 08:42

Teacher commits suicide following school tragedy

A teacher at the school that partially collapsed in the southern Urals, killing five teenagers, has committed suicide. The school's principal said she was the form mistress of the deceased girls, who were in their final year there.

The teacher was found hanged in her garage on Thursday morning. Investigators say she was not responsible for organising the repair work at the school that allegedly caused the accident.

The girls will be buried on Friday, which has been declared a day of mourning in the Orenburg region in south-eastern Russia.

The school in Belyaevka village will be demolished. It is believed the tragedy occurred due to repairs that were taking place at the time.

A representative of the local administration has announced further use of the school is impossible.

“On Wednesday morning a group of workers were changing windows on the first floor of the school. After the old windows were dismantled, the school’s walls began cracking. The workers informed the principal and an evacuation started. The collapse happened during the evacuation,” said Timur Pishpanov, Deputy Prosecutor for the Belyaevsky district.

Four people were injured and were taken to hospital, including three children.

“During the search and rescue operations, firemen, rescuers and police officers managed to rescue 11 people from under the rubble. As for the four people that have been taken to the local hospital, their lives are now out of danger,” said Vladislav Zubchenko from the local emergencies office.
The school was built in 1964 and was never subjected to major reconstruction.

A criminal case has been launched into the incident.