At least 13 school children were killed and eight others injured as a school bus they were travelling in was hit by a train in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district. The driver of the bus, too, was reportedly killed.
Kushinagar is about 50 km from Gorakhpur.
The incident took place at an unmanned railway crossing. The children died on the spot. According to reports, they were students of Divine Public School.
“The Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train crashed into the van at the unmanned crossing gate at Behpurva,” said Railways spokesman Ved Prakash.
He added that the bus was carrying at least 25 passengers, including children who below the age of 10.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed his condolences and ordered an inquiry into the accident. He also directed the local administration to provide immediate medical aid.
“I am deeply pained at the deaths of school children in the unfortunate train accident in Kushinagar. I pray for peace of departed souls and for strength to the families. Orders have been issued for immediate medical relief and all help to those affected in the accident,” Adityanath said.
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
An official said the CM also declared ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims.
Expressing his grief on the loss of lives in the accident, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal too announced ex gratia Rs 2 lakh to next of kin of the deceased.
Congress leader and MP from Guna in Madhya Pradesh, Jyotiraditya Scindia, too expressed his condolences.
Absolutely shocking news! My heart goes out to the families that have lost their children in the #Kushinagar accident. May the young hearts rest in peace. I wish those injured a speedy recovery.
— Jyotiraditya Scindia (@JM_Scindia) April 26, 2018
The Kushinagar accident is the second involving school children in April. On 10 April, a bus carrying school children skidded off the road and fell into a gorge in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra killing 27 persons, including 23 children.
The students were returning home from Wazir Ram Singh Pathania Memorial School near Ghurchaal near Nurpur town.