Seven students died and over a 100 were injured when the truck in which they were travelling overturned in Kalaghatgi taluk of Dharwad district on Thursday night.
The accident occurred at Junjanabailu near Anchatageri, when the students of Anchatageri Arabic Madrasa were returning after a visit to Hazrat Sathon Shaheed Dargah. Most of the children are from Hubli.
According to sources, there were around 130 persons in the truck, including 125 boys. Two Madrasa teachers and three other staff have been injured, and the driver of the truck is absconding.
According to initial reports, the driver was speeding and lost control while taking a turn to enter the Ankola-Gooty National Highway (No. 63). The vehicle overturned and fell into a ditch and the students were caught under it.
While one boy was killed on the spot, two died on the way to hospital and four others died at the hospital, police sources said. All the deceased and the injured are in the age group of 10 to 12 years. Of the dead, five have been identified as Ijaj, Atiq, Asif and Syed from Hubli and Qutubuddin from Mumbai. The other two boys are yet to be identified.
The district police and the local people helped in rescuing the children, and they were rushed to KIMS Hospital in ambulances and private vehicles. Hospital sources revealed that barring a few serious cases, majority of the boys were out of danger.