"Seventeen students were going to Don Bosco School on the outskirts of Gangolli (village in Udupi) when Vijaylakshmi Travels bus driven rashly and negligently struck the van, resulting in the death of the nine children," a local police official told IANS over phone from Udupi, nearly 400 km from here.
The accident took place near Trasi village at around 8 a.m. when the bus ploughed into the van even as the latter's driver clearly indicated he was going to take a turn.
The dead include three boys and six girls, aged between five to 15 and studying in classes one to 10.
The van driver, a Don Bosco school teacher and the eight other students survived the collision with injuries.
Police arrested the bus driver and seized the bus which plies locally between Gangolli and Kundapur.
The bus driver was not in an inebriated condition, said the police official.