Girl trapped inside school for 2 hours; firemen free crying child

13-year-old locked inside building after school finishes early and authorities leave without checking all classrooms

A 13-Year-old girl remained trapped inside her school for over two hours yesterday morning because authorities at the educational institute reportedly did not check all the classrooms before locking the doors and leaving for the day.

Stuck in school: The Shri Sant Shivgangadevi school where Soni Mhetre
was stuck for more than two hours on the third floor

The Pune City Fire Control received a 101 call around 11.45 am about a girl trapped in the Shri Sant Shivgangadevi Vidyalay near the Congress Bhavan. As it was Teachers' Day, no classes had reportedly been held and school had finished by 10 am, earlier than usual.

The locks broken by the fire brigade to free the girl. pics/Krunal Gosavi

When Soni Shankar Mhetre realised she was alone and trapped in the school, she was scared and began crying. According to a fire official from the Kasba Peth station, the girl was seen crying near a classroom window on the third floor.

"She was crying frantically and a crowd had also gathered around the school premises," said a fire official. Firemen said that the school's main entrance was locked with chains, which had to be broken. The third floor's door was also locked with a chain, which was disabled with large iron shears.

"The girl was very scared and we quickly carried her down. Her father had arrived in the meantime and he too expressed outrage over the incident," Fire Officer Anil K said. According to the firemen, the father said he had dropped Soni around 10 am and quickly left for work. The Mhetres are residents of Sangamwadi.

But the watchman had a different story to tell. "The father dropped the girl around 11.30 am when I was busy with my pooja after school hours. He should have seen that the students had left and taken her back home. However, the girl climbed up to her regular classroom, and I locked the gates and left for home," he said.

The girl then realised she was alone and ran down to the main entrance, only to find it closed. She then ran upstairs and called out to residents of the nearby building and gave her father's contact details, after which somebody contacted him as well as the fire brigade.

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