Mumbai: 7-year-old collapses on school's basketball court, dies

The Std II student was playing in his school when he suddenly collapsed, and had died by the time he was a taken to a nearby hospital; while his mother is too shocked to talk, school authorities say they were not aware of him suffering from any ailment

Shortly after 7-year-old Kenneth Rosario aimed a basketball at a hoop at Don Bosco School in Matunga, he collapsed in front of his classmates and had died by the time he was taken to a nearby hospital yesterday.

The Std II boy was reportedly healthy before the incident and his sudden death has flummoxed both his parents and school authorities. Even the initial post-mortem has not been able to throw much light on the cause of death.

Representational pic

“The short break had just got over and the Std II students were back on the playground at 11:15 am for their games period. This child was playing with other students and suddenly collapsed,” said Fr Bosco D’mello, principal of the school.

“We tried to revive the child and immediately rushed him to a nearby hospital, where he was declared brought dead. We are too shocked to even understand what happened," he added.

The in-charge physical training teacher, who was the first to notice that Kenneth had collapsed, immediately tried reviving him, but to no avail. “It looked like Kenneth had suffered an epileptic attack, so the teacher and other school authorities rushed him to a doctor right across the school building.

They had already tried to revive the child by then,” said a parent who was present in the school premises at the time of the incident. She added that by the time school authorities rushed Kenneth to the hospital, he was declared dead and the police was immediately informed. Kenneth's body is still at the post-mortem centre at his mother’s request.

“I’m waiting for my husband to return from the USA and, as of now, I’m simply lost and am in no state to answer any questions,” said Karen Rosario, Kenneth's mother. “The boy rarely came down to play but always seemed to be a happy child. It’s really sad that a young life was lost today,” said a resident of the Dadar society where the Rosarios live.

Autopsy on Kenneth’s body conducted at Sion hospital
The autopsy on Kenneth’s body was conducted at Sion hospital and forensic surgeons have preserved the viscera for chemical analysis and histopathology tests.

“Autopsy surgeons found gastric mucosa present in the stomach indicating that the child might have had some gastrointestinal ailment with haemorrhage, which could also be due to food poisoning. The exact reason for the death will be ascertained only once the laboratory test reports are received,” said a surgeon on condition of anonymity.

The school authorities, however, were not aware of Kenneth suffering from any ailments. “We request parents to fill up a medical form at the beginning of every academic year but no major health issue was mentioned in the case of this child. We will check if the class teacher was informed about any health concerns after the school reopened post-Christmas vacations,” said Father D’mello.

He added that children who are unwell are never sent out to play in the sun unless they are healthy and in good shape. The Matunga police have registered an accidental death case under Section 174 of the CrPC and have recorded a relative’s statement.

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