Eleven children on their way to school were among 12 killed and 20 others injured when an overloaded van carrying them collided with a truck amid dense fog on Saha-Shahabad road near Ambala on Monday, police said.
The visibility was poor in the morning hours due to fog and the two vehicles collided near Bhita village, about 15 km from here, they said.
The children were in the age group of 5-8.
The school van was carrying students of Arjun Public School, a private school, located near Saha.
The driver of the van succumbed to his injuries later, police said, adding that the truck driver escaped from the accident spot.
The injured have been admitted to hospitals in Ambala.
Some of the seriously injured children were rushed to Chandigarh.
Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda ordered a magisterial probe to look into the circumstances leading to the accident.
The Chief Minister, who visited the injured in the Chandigarh hospital, announced free treatment for the victims and a financial assistance of Rs. 1 lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased, Rs. 25,000 each to seriously injured and Rs. 10,000 each to injured.
Senior officials of Ambala district administration have rushed to the accident spot to help in rescue and relief measures.
In view of the accident, the district administration has ordered school authorities to start functioning from 10 a.m. as against the present timings of between 7 and 8 a.m.