In a recent development in the Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar area where 13 children lost their lives, the Principal of Divine Public School was detained by police. All the deceased were the students of this school. The vehicle carrying them collided with a passenger train at an unmanned crossing this morning.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has faced protests from a number of people when he visited the accident site. The protestors were seen blocking the way and raising slogans, apparently in the name of the chief minister. Adityanath, on the other hand, appealed to them to stop sloganeering. The chief minister said, “It is a very sad incident, don’t raise slogans, stop your nautanki.” It wasn’t immediately clear whether the slogans were in his support or against him.
Later, the chief minister visited BRD Medical College where the treatment of four children and driver of the van was underway. Some senior officials, including Agriculture Minister, Surya Pratap Shahi, also rushed to the spot.
The ghastly collision between a school van and passenger train took place at an unmanned crossing in city’s Behpurva area. The students, on their way to Divine Public School, were reportedly killed on the spot when the Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train crashed into the van. The train was on its way to Gorakhpur from Siwan.
Earlier, Adityanath offered his condolences and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims. The chief minister also directed the Gorakhpur commissioner to conduct an enquiry into the accident. “13 students have died, 4 students & van driver are critically injured. they are admitted at BRD Medical College. The inquiry will be conducted to nab those responsible. I spoke to Railway Minister also about ways to man the unmanned railway crossings,” Adityanath said.
The chief minister said that accident Prima facie appears to be the mistake of van driver, who according to him, was listening to music while driving. “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 van was carrying at least 25 passengers at the time of the accident, including women and children. A railway spokesman told media that it was an unmanned level crossing gate at Behpurva, with Gate Mitra (rail volunteer) deployed there. The Gate Mitra tried to stop the van but failed, the railway official said.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has also announced a compensation of Rs 2 Lakh for victim’s family members. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind have also offered their condolences on the issue. “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.
Modi, who was making an election address via NaMo App, said, “I am extremely saddened on hearing about the death of 11 school students in a collision between a school van and a train in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar. The Uttar Pradesh government and railway department will take appropriate action.”