Five kids, woman die as school van slips into canal

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 17 (PTI) Five children and awoman attender of a private kindergarten school were killedafter a van carrying them fell into a canal at Chakkai area ofthe city, police said.

Four children and a woman died immediately, while anothergirl child succumbed to injuries in the hospital, they said.

The three boys and two girls, all LKG and UKG students,were on their way to school in Pettah in the city, they said.

Police said the vehicle hit a block of stone and plungedin to the canal as there was no protective barrier along thenarrow road.

The van, half-submerged in the polluted canal, was firstnoticed by the crew of a bus that passed by the spot.

They immediately informed the police, who with the helpof local people, began the rescue work.

Three children and the van driver are undergoingtreatment at a hospital and their condition is stated to bestable.

Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan directed IGP BSandhya to probe the incident and submit a report.

According to the locals, the van carried nine childrenbesides the woman attender and the driver, they said.

Education Minister M A Baby, who rushed to the spot, saidan inquiry would be ordered into the safety aspects of schoolvehicles.

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