At least 13 children were killed and eight others injured when their school van was hit by a train at an unmanned railway crossing in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district, an official said.
The children, students of Divine Public School, were killed on the spot when Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train (55075) crashed into the van at an unmanned crossing gate at Behpurva, said Ved Prakash, spokesperson for Railways.
There were at least 25 people, including children in the van, most of whom were children below the age of 10 years, the official said. The train was on way to Gorakhpur from Siwan.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced an ex-gratia of Rs2 lakh each to the deceased’s family and ordered an inquiry by the Gorakhpur commissioner.
“It was unmanned level crossing gate at Behpurva, with Gate Mitra deployed there. He tried to stop but unfortunate incident happened at unmanned gate 45 near Dudhi station in Banaras division,” the spokesperson said in New Delhi. An accident relief medical train from Gorakhpur has been dispatched to the site, he said.
Meanwhile, chief minister Yogi Adityanath rushed to Kushinagar for on-the-spot assessment of accident site.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of the deceased.
“I received the unfortunate news of the death of school children. I have asked senior officials to conduct a probe into the incident. Railways will give a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of the dead over and above the aid announced by the Uttar Pradesh government,” he said in a tweet.
Governor Ram Naik also condoled the death of minor children in the accident.