Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday expressed grief over the death of 13 children in an accident at an unmanned railway crossing in Kushinagar area of Uttar Pradesh.
Taking to the micro-blogging site Twitter, Gandhi urged party workers of Congress to help families affected by the accident in all possible ways.
“I am deeply pained to hear about the death of 13 innocent children in a tragic accident in Kushinagar. I urge local Congress workers to help families affected by the mishap in all possible ways,” the Gandhi scion tweeted.
The incident occurred when a train rammed into a school van at an unmanned railway crossing in Kushinagar leaving 13 students dead and 8 others injured.
The driver of the bus, too, lost his life in the accident.
After reaching the accident site, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took stock of the situation and shifted the blame on the van driver.
“I express my condolences over the unfortunate incident. I spoke to the railway minister on this and I am told that the school van driver was wearing earphones while driving… this is a case of pure negligence,” he said addressing the reporters and added, “An inquiry has been ordered and based on the investigation, the guilty will face the most severe punishment.”
Thousands of angry residents gathered at the accident site to protest against CM Adityanath and his administration. The protesters were demanding a compensation of Rs 50 lakh, according to Firstpost.
Meanwhile, the Principal of the Divine Mission School, KJ Khan, and the school owner are both reported to be missing.
Expressing condolence, CM Adityanath had announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the each victim and directed the Gorakhpur commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the accident.