A school bus was hit by a train at an unmanned railway crossing in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar, leaving at least 13 children dead on Thursday morning. As per the reports, the students were killed on the spot after the train rammed into the school bus. The school bus belonged to Divine Public School.
Reports say that the bus was thrown off the railway track as a speeding train collided with it. Railways spokesperson said that the children were killed on the spot when Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train (55075) crashed into the van at an unmanned crossing gate at Behpurva. There were at least 25 people, including children in the van, most of whom were children below the age of 10 years, the official said. The train was on way to Gorakhpur from Siwan.
The incident took place around 50 km from Gorakhpur, which is Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's home constituency. The Chief Minister has ordered Commissioner Gorakhpur to conduct an inquiry into the accident, said reports
कुशीनगर जिले में हुए दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण ट्रेन दुर्घटना में स्कूली बच्चों की मृत्यु पर गहरा दुःख पंहुचा। ईश्वर से दिवंगत आत्मा की शांति एवं परिजनों को संबल देने की प्रार्थना करता हूँ। दुर्घटना से प्रभावित लोगों के समुचित इलाज की व्यवस्था कराने व हर सम्भव मदद करने के निर्देश दिए हैं।— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) April 26, 2018
Chief Minister Adityanath has expressed grief over the incident and has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims.
The Uttar Pradesh government has also ordered the immediate suspension of Kushinagar and Dudhi Basic Education Officer and Block Education Officers. Adityanath has also ordered for the suspension of Road Transport Officer and Passenger Tax Officer and for the filing of an FIR against the principal of Divine Public School, said news agency ANI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that he was "extremely saddened" to hear about the incident. "UP government and railway department will take appropriate action," he added.
"I have asked senior officials to conduct an inquiry into the incident. Railways will provide an ex-gratia amount of Rs 2 lakh each to families of the deceased," tweeted Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
This is the second major accident involving school children this month.
On April 10, Thirty persons, including 27 children, were killed when a private school bus fell into a gorge in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. The school bus skidded off the road and fell into a 100-feet-deep gorge in Kangra district. All the dead students were below the age of 10. The bus driver and two teachers were also among the dead.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs