Four children, aged between 10 and 12 years, were charred to death after a mini van of a private school carrying 12 students caught fire in Punjab’s Sangrur district on Saturday, police said. The accident took place on the Longowal-Sidsamachar road.

According to reports, the driver of the van escaped after the accident. Eight children were taken out safely by people working in nearby fields, police said.

The van driver, according to the police, had tried to open the doors of the vehicle after it caught fire but failed.

The van belonged to Simran Public School in Longowal. The children were returning home from the school when the van caught fire.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, District Education Officer Om Parkash told the media. The accident spot is some 20 km from district headquarters Sangrur.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh expressed his grief over the mishap and ordered a magisterial enquiry into the incident.

In a tweet, the Singh further stated that the guilty will not be spared.

(With PTI inputs)