13 Children Dead In UP Bus Accident; Driver's Fault, Says Yogi Adityanath

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13 Children Dead In UP Bus Accident; Driver's Fault, Says Yogi Adityanath

Posted on : Thursday 26th of April 2018

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GORAKHPUR: At least 13 children have been killed and eight more injured after a speeding train crashed into a school van this morning at an unmanned crossing in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar, around 50 km from Gorakhpur.

Around 7 am, the van of Divine Public School, carrying nearly 25 students, passed through the crossing and reportedly stalled on the tracks when it was hit by the train. An official said 13 children were killed on the spot and seven are critically injured. The wounded children and staff were taken to a hospital around 30 km from the site.

The train was on its way to Gorakhpur from Siwan. The official claimed that a "Gate Mitra (friend)" - a person who alerts commuters about approaching trains at unmanned crossings - tried to stop the van but it was too late.

"He (the driver) didn't pay any heed, he had earphones on... this is a case of pure negligence," said a Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who rushed to the crash site to take stock of the situation.

The vehicle mostly had children below 10, he said.

A huge crowd has gathered around the yellow van, which was badly smashed on impact.

An accident relief medical train from Gorakhpur, the home base of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has been sent to the crash site, he said.

Yogi Adityanath has ordered top officials of Gorakhpur to inquire into the accident. The Chief Minister has also announced compensation of Rs. 2 lakh for the families of the children.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among those who tweeted expressing grief over the accident.

"I am extremely saddened on hearing about the death of 11 school students in a collision between a school van and a train in Uttar Pradesh's #Kushinagar . UP government and railway dept will take appropriate action," tweeted PM Modi.

India is home to hundreds of railway crossings that are unmanned and particularly accident prone, with motorists often ignoring oncoming train warnings. Nearly 15,000 people die on the country's railways every year, according to a 2012 government report.

The government has vowed to upgrade unattended railway crossings next year to reduce fatal accidents.

Courtesy : NDTV

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