Students return to school after quake attack

The school attended by a 9-year-old girl who died after a powerful earthquake in Osaka this week reopened Thursday, as grief and anxieties persist among students and local residents.


In an assembly, Yoshimi Tanaka, principal of the school in the city of Takatsuki, with students who said that they cannot forget her and that she was always surrounded by friends and looked happy.



Some students became emotional during the meeting at the School where Rina Miyake, the deceased student who died in the earthquake used to study.


The school felt it needed more time for more thorough safety checks before classes resumed; most elementary schools in the city reopened a day earlier on Wednesday. The Takatsuki Mayor said he felt sorry for the victim after placing flowers in front of the locally-run school early in the morning.


Students were dismissed early at midday as the school could not provide meals because the gas lines that supplied the school were damaged and not used.


Rina Miyake was crushed to death under a concrete wall that collapsed as she was headed for school after the magnitude 6.1 quake rocked the northern part of the prefecture.


Local police are filing her death as a case of “professional negligence” as concrete blocks around the school’s swimming pool were unusually high compared to legal standards and lacked adequate reinforcement.


The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry dispatched a special team on Thursday to inspect the concrete-block walls at all elementary and middle schools in Takatsuki for possible cracks, tilting and other unforseen damage.


They also urged owners of high walls throughout Japan to check their safety, while the Osaka prefectural government decided to inspect all concrete walls made of blocks on routes taken by students going to local public schools.


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in the prefecture in the morning and visited the site where the wall collapsed as well as other locations that were hit by the quake.


Reference: Pupils return to school in quake-hit Osaka as anxieties continue


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