Odishatv Bureau

Sambalpur: An eight-year-old girl student of a tribal residential school here died of burn injuries today after she fell into a hot curry cauldron.

Banita Kahnhar, a Class III student of Sevashram School run by the Odisha government at Girishchandrapur village, accidentally fell into the cauldron when the students were jostling to get the egg curry while the mid-day-meal was being served in the school, they said.

The girl was first taken to VSS Medical College Hospital at Burla and then shifted to the SCB Medical College Hospital at Cuttack last evening. After battling for life during the surgery ward of the hospital, she died today, said hospital emergency officer B N Maharana.

"The girl had sustained 70 percent burn injuries, most of which were of the third degree in nature as she remained unattended on the cooking bowl for a longer period," doctors at the SCB Medical College Hospital, Cuttack said.

There are altogether 323 students in the boarding school. As Banita belonged to the same village, she was not staying in the hostel.

As soon as the news of the death of the girl spread in the area, irate villagers staged a road blockade near affecting traffic at Sambalpur and Naktideulo.

However, sub-collector Kabindra Sahu and police personnel rushed to the spot and intervened after which the road blockade was lifted.

The district administration paid Rs 10,000 for the cremation of the girl and assured to recommend payment of ex-gratia from the Chief Minister's relief fund, Sahu said.

Besides, steps would be initiated to appoint a doctor at the community health center at Girishchandrapur and enroll the name of her mother as a cook for mid-day-meal in the school, Sahu said.

The body was taken to the village from Cuttack for cremation.