The toll in Monday's accident at Channankara in which a minibus carrying students of Jyothinilayam Higher Secondary School, Kazhakkuttam, plunged into the Parvathy Puthanar canal has risen to four with one more child, Krishnapriya, 10, succumbing to her injuries.
Three children, Aromal S. Nair, Kaniha Santhosh, and Ashwin, had died on Monday.
Krishnapriya who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at SAT Hospital, along with 13 other children, was in a very critical condition. She breathed her last at around 4 a.m. on Tuesday.
Hospital sources said the condition of Devika, 10, who is also in the ICU, had improved but she still required intensive care. All other children at the hospital were fast recuperating and the hospital authorities hoped to discharge some of them on Wednesday.
The condition of two children at CSI Mission Hospital, Kazhakuttam, and another child admitted to KIMS Hospital was reported to be stable.
The Kadhinamkulam police have registered a case against Jithin, the driver of the ill-fated minibus; Shibin, the cleaner; and the authorities of BPM Upper Primary School under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code. C. Binukumar, Circle Inspector, Kazhakuttam, who is investigating the incident said Jithin was the first accused, Shibin the second accused and the school authorities, the third accused. Only after a detailed inquiry would the police include the names of the school authorities.
Mr. Binukumar said the police had taken the statements of the students who were in the minibus and eyewitness before registering the case. They told the police that Jithin was behind the wheels at the time of the accident. The cleaner had last night stated that he was behind the wheels.
The police found that a dog had jumped over a boundary wall of a vacant plot near the accident site on to a narrow road that runs along the canal. The subsequent application of brakes caused the vehicle to plunge into the canal. “We have scrutinised the call records of the driver and the cleaner and found that they did not use mobile phones during the time of the incident,” he said.
The police and the Motor Vehicles Department inspected vehicles transporting schoolchildren in the wake of the accident.
Official sources said many vehicles that were transporting children were overcrowded and found flouting norms. Police personnel visited many schools too.