It proved to be a black Thursday as the nation woke upto news of 13 school students being killed in an early-morning accident in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar.
The accident took place as the vehicle these students were travelling in collided with a passenger train at an unmanned crossing.
It is said that all the victims were students of the town’s Divine Public School.
As per reports, six other students were seriously injured in the accident while the driver is also reported to have died.
Kushinagar district Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Akhilesh Kumar told news agencies that one child was in a critical condition.
The incident took place at the Dudhi Behpurva gate at 7.10 am. The injured were rushed to Pandrauna Hospital, 30 km from the accident site.
Meanwhile, the Railways spokesperson Ved Prakash told news agencies that the children died on the spot as the Siwan-Gorakhpur passenger train crashed into the van at the crossing, 100 km from Gorakhpur.
According to a North Eastern (NE) Railway official, at least 25 people, mostly children below the age of 10 years, were travelling in the van when the incident occurred.
Railway has even dispatched an accident relief medical train from Gorakhpur was for the site.
Several senior officials have also rushed to the accident site, and an inquiry has been ordered.
It is now known that a total of 18 school students were travelling in the vehicle involved in the Kushinagaraccident.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed his deepest condolences over this “very unfortunate incident” and directed the district administration to provide all the help and medical aid required by those affected.
The Chief Minister also declared an ex-gratia of Rs 200,000 (Rs 2 lakh) to the next of kin of the victims and directed an inquiry into the cause of the accident.
Commenting on the Kushinagar accident, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted that he had asked senior officials to conduct an inquiry into the incident and assured that the Railways would provide an ex-gratia amount of Rs 200,000 (Rs 2 lakh) each to the families of the deceased.
With the tragedy being of national scale, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was extremely saddened by the deaths of 11 school students in Kushinagar and added that the UP government and Railways would take appropriate action.>