While four children and a woman died immediately after the
mishap, another child succumbed to injuries in the hospital in
the afternoon, the sources said.
Three of the deceased were boys and two girls, who were
on their way to their school in Pettah in the city.
The van lying half-submerged in the pollutted canal,
carpeted with thick layers of 'African weeds', was first
noticed by the crew of a bus that passed through the spot.
They immediately informed the police, who with the help of
local people, plunged into the rescue work.
Three children and the van driver are under treatment at
hospital and their condition was stated to be stable.
On examination of the mishap spot, police said their
assessment was that the vehicle got swerved to a side on
hitting a block of stone and plunged into the canal as there
was no protective barrier between the narrow road and the
Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan directed IGP B Sandhya
to probe and submit a report on the mishap.
According to local people, the van used to pack as many as
15 children into it on most of the days. But today, there were
only nine children besides the woman attender besides the
driver in the vehicle.
Education Minister M A Baby said an inquiry would be ordered
into the safety apsects of school vehicles.
Thiruvananthapuram: Five children and a woman
attendant of a private kindergarten school died as their van
fell into a canal at Chakkai area in the city on Thursday, police
First Published: Thursday, February 17, 2011, 18:31