Falling ceiling cracks boy's skull in Hanoi classroom

TN News

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A boy required brain surgery after a piece of ceiling fell and injured him -- as well as the teacher and two other boys -- at an old Hanoi classroom Monday.

A cement section of the classroom's ceiling fell at around 3 p.m. at Da Ton Primary School in Gia Lam District.

It knocked out teacher Nguyen Thi Huong and injured three students who were writing on the blackboard with her, according to a report by Infonet, a news website administered by the Ministry of Information and Communication.

Injuries to Do Dinh Hieu were the most severe. He suffered a hematoma in his brain and part of his skull was damaged.

The boy is still very weak after brain surgery at St. Paul Hospital.

Nguyen Thi Dao, his 28-year-old mother, said Hieu had a fever and could not move one of his arms.

Locals said the family is one of the poorest in the commune.

Dao said her paddy field sometimes did not make enough profit to pay her children's school expenses.

She said she did not know how she was going to pay for her son's treatment and medication.

Huong, the teacher, was knocked unconscious in the accident and received eight stitches on her head. She has recovered.

Two other boys, Nguyen Manh Tuan and Vu Li En, suffered slight injuries and have been sent home.

The falling concrete also broke the teacher's wooden desk.

Tran Duc Dien, chairman of Da Ton Commune, said the classroom was built in 1992. The ceiling was fixed recently and it might have been done improperly, he said. 

A teacher at the school who requested anonymity said that the classroom had been put in use before construction work had been completed due to a lack of facilities at the school.

Dien said the commune had asked the district government for money to build new classrooms, but was rejected.

He said he would file another request.

Local authorities are investigating the case.

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