Other States

13 children killed as train hits school van at unmanned crossing in Uttar Pradesh

Onlookers gather around the mangled remains of a school bus after it was hit by a train in Kushinagar district, Uttar Pradesh on April 26, 2018.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Thirteen children were killed and several others critically injured on Thursday after a school van carrying them was rammed by a train at an unmanned crossing at Behpurva in Kushinagar, 325 km from State capital Lucknow..

The death toll could increase, police said, adding that the driver of the Thawe-Kaptanganj passenger was among the injured.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reached the accident site and met the victims' families. He also visited the injured in the BRD medical college in Gorakhpur. 

Mr. Adityanath said prima facie it appeared to be the fault of the bus driver, who allegedly had his earphones on.

He has also raised questions about the age of the driver, who is believed to be a minor.

The students belonged to the Divine Public School.

Compensation to victims' families

In a statement issued earlier, Mr. Adityanath directed the Commissioner of Gorakhpur to conduct an enquiry into the cause of the accident, which he termed "unfortunate". He announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 2 lakh to each of the families of the victims.

The railways have also ordered a probe into the accident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh to each of the kin of the dead, Rs 1 lakh to those with serious injuries and Rs 50,000 to those who sustained other injuries.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, "I am deeply anguished and pained by the loss of lives of young school children at an unmanned level crossing [UMLC] in Kushinagar, UP. My thoughts are with families of the deceased and I pray for the early recovery of the injured. We stand committed to take all possible steps to avoid such accidents in future."

Uttar Pradeh DGP O.P. Singh has directed ADG, Gorakhpur to supervise the relief and rescue operations.

Hundreds of people gathered at the accident site and demanded a higher compensation for the victims. Mr. Adityanath had to use a loudspeaker to calm down the angry crowd.

The 13 children were identified as Muskan, Tamanna, Sazida and Ragina, girls aged 7, 10, 11 and 7 respectively; and boys Hariom, Santosh, Ravi, Atiullah, Arshad, Anas, Golu, Miraj and Kamrul, all aged between 8-10.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 6:09:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/school-children-killed-as-train-hits-school-van-in-uttar-pradesh/article23678714.ece

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