At Least Three Children Injured After a Collapse at a Cuban School

The entrance to the José Martí School in Havana’s Playa neighborhood, where three children were injured this morning by a falling cornice.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 23 May 2019 —  At least three children were injured in an accident on Wednesday morning when pieces of a cornice fell on the patio of José Martí Primary School, on 25th Street between 54th and 56th in the Buena Vista neighborhood of Havana’s Playa municipality.

According to what the teacher Ileana Prendes told the police, the events happened around 10:00 in the morning, when the third grade students were gathered on the patio waiting for a physical education lesson. “There were sitting in the shade and suddenly some pieces of the roof gave way, where the cornice was,” she said.

As the teacher explained, the children were immediately taken to the policlinic just to the side of the school. “The firefighters came from a station two blocks from here; the place was full of police and in three minutes we had ambulances to take the children to Juan Manuel Márquez Pediatric Hospital,” she added.  By two in the afternoon scaffolding had been erected to fix the problem and several neighbors offered to help with whatever was needed.

The place where the roof cornice fell on some students in a Havana school. (14ymedio)

14ymedio communicated with the hospital where the injured childred were taken but the medical center said it could not offer any information to the press about the health of its patients.

The country’s economic crisis since the end of the subsidies from the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1990s is manifested in the deterioration of many of the school buildings. To this is added the budget cuts in services during the years of Raul Castro’s presidency. Cuba has 10,7070 schools and 1.7 million students.

According to declations from Education Minister Ena Elsa Velázquez  on the Roundtable TV program, in September of 2018, when the 2019-2020 school term began, 15% of Cuban schools were in poor physical condition.


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