Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has offered condolences on the death of children and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims.
In a disturbing development, thirteen children have been reported killed, while eight others have been critically injured in a ghastly collision between a school van and passenger train in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district. The train rammed into the school van at an unmanned railway crossing, around 50 km from Gorakhpur. Many of the children, students of Divine Public School, were reportedly killed on the spot when the Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train crashed into the van in city’s Behpurva area. The train was on its way to Gorakhpur from Siwan.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the accident site and offered condolences on the death of children. He also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims. “13 students have died, 4 students & van driver are critically injured. they are admitted at BRD Medical College. Inquiry will be conducted to nab those responsible. I spoke to Railway Minister also about ways to man the unmanned railway crossings,” Adityanath said. He added that the accident Prima facie appears to be mistake of van driver. “He had earphones on and there are questions over his age too. There are rules in place, inquiry will be conducted as to why they were not followed. Strict action will be taken,” said the chief minister.
The chief minister also directed the Gorakhpur commissioner to conduct an enquiry into the accident, Principal Secretary (Information) Awanish Awasthi told media.
As per the official, the van was carrying at least 25 passengers at the time of the accident, including women and children. Speaking to media, a railway spokesman said that it was an unmanned level crossing gate at Behpurva, with Gate Mitra (rail volunteer) deployed there. As per the railway official, the Gate Mitra tried to stop the van but failed. The unfortunate incident happened at unmanned gate 45 near Dudhi station in Banaras division.
As per the officials there were total 19 children in the bus. President Ram Nath Kovind also offered his conolences to families of the bereived children. “Shocked to learn about the horrific accident involving a bus carrying innocent schoolchildren in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh. Thoughts and prayers with the bereaved families and with those injured,” Kovind tweeted.
An accident relief medical train from Gorakhpur was rushed to the site. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has also 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,” Goyal tweeted.