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  Monday, November 18, 2019
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A teacher at the high school that partially collapsed in Russia's
A teacher at the high school that partially collapsed in Russia's Urals killing five teenagers has committed suicide, the school principal said Thursday.

Larisa Tsepovod said the woman had hanged herself, adding that she was the form mistress for the five dead girls, who were in their final year at the Orenburg Region school.

"She has been teaching at school for 15 years and the death of the girls affected her immensely," the principal said.

Four other people, including three children, were injured during the building collapse, which happened Wednesday morning when a supporting wall failed, bringing a three-story section of the school down with it.

The head of the Investigation Committee at the Russian Prosecutor's Office flew to Belyayevka on Thursday to investigate the incident.

"It is necessary to find the true causes of the incident, to look into all the circumstances of the children's deaths in the school, to find those guilty and to take tough measures to prevent a repetition of similar school tragedies," Alexander Bastrykin said before his flight to the region.

The regional authorities have announced compensation payments of $11,700 to the families of the killed girls and $3,900 to the four injured in the accident. They have also declared Friday a day of mourning for the victims.

Orenburg Region Governor Alexei Chernyshev said he had visited the injured girls at hospital and they were in a satisfactory condition.

He also said the undamaged part of the school might still be usable, although a local official has ruled it out.

"Experts will study the school building," the governor said. "If the other half is suitable for use, classes could be continued there. ... It is not a final conclusion, but the further use of parts of the building is being considered as an option."

An official from the Belyayevka district administration said Wednesday that the collapsed sections of the school would be demolished, while the entire school building could no longer be used.


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