Near Disaster Averted As Chopper Lands At La Martiniere College Polo Ground During Junior School Sports Day

Near Disaster Averted As Chopper Lands At La Martiniere College Polo Ground During Junior School Sports Day

Lucknow, November 23 (TNA) A near disaster was caught on camera in real time when a helicopter bearing identification VT-UPL made its way to La Martiniere College Polo Ground, even as the 139th Junior School Sports Day programme was in progress. Video footage shows the helicopter advance to the field as about two thousand children and a huge audience screamed in horror, even as the children were displaying skills of dressage, while standing on horseback.

Eyewitness reports and social media handles relayed the incident in real time. Screens, poles, flags, canopies and marquees were uprooted as the dust swirl blinded another group of more than 200 children, each about seven years old, who were waiting for their turn to come on to the field.

These children were directly in the line of flight. After a confrontation with staff on the scene who rescued the children, the helicopter took off in another direction. Parents, staff and the College administration have expressed outrage at the potential disaster.

This is not the first time that such an incident has occurred. The Principal, C. McFarland, when contacted clarified that the use of a portion of the playing field was offered as a courtesy to the Chief Minister of the State, whose official residence is nearby.

“The College Management had resolved to extend that permission for the President, the Prime Minister of India. Other political functionaries would have to make other arrangements. Regrettably, this is continuously flouted. The College is never informed about landings or take-offs.

Instead the playing fields have been regularly damaged with temporary construction work on three helipads at a time, all of which have not been removed despite complaints. The College, through its own funds has to restore the fields, which takes time, leaving some sports activity impossible to conduct.”

Complaints have been registered with the Director General of Civil Aviation and the Directorate of Air Safety. The Principal has informed the Managing Committee and requested further directions. The 139th Sports Day Events for the College shall continue on Thursday as well.

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