At least 18 children were buried alive and six others injured on Wednesday when the roof of a primary school collapsed following heavy rains in Kapkot area of Uttarakhand’s Bageshwar district.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank said the search and rescue teams have recovered the bodies of 18 children from the debris so far while search is on to find out others.

The roof of the Saraswati Shishu Mandir at Sumgad village collapsed on Wednesday morning when the children were studying, burying them under the debris, he said.

Six other children were also rescued safely with minor injuries from the debris, he added.

The Chief Minister also announced ex-gratia of Rs. 50,000 each to the families, which have lost their children.

Despite bad weather, the rescue and search operation is going on in the affected area, said official sources.

Nearly a dozen houses were also flattened due to incessant rains in the nearby Harsiabagad area due to a cloudburst. An administrative team has been rushed to the area, they said.