PATNA: At least nine people were killed and 20 were injured after they were run over by a speeding vehicle in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district. The incident took place on Saturday afternoon.
The car lost control and ploughed through them outside Dharmpur Government School building.
The children were returning from the school located in Meenpur police station area when the accident happened. Their age is said to be between eight to 10 years.
Muzaffarpur Senior Superintendent of Police Vivek Kumar said the speeding vehicle mowed down the children when they were crossing the road.
"The incident took place at Ahiyapur-Jhapaha in Minapur police station area of the district where a Bolero ran over the children who were returning to their homes after the school was over," said Vivek Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Muzaffarpur.
All the injured children have, meanwhile, been admitted to SKMCH Hospital in Muzaffarpur.
He said "all the injured, said to be around 20 in number, have been rushed to the Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital for treatment. The condition of some of them was stated to be critical".
The speeding car reportedly belongs to Manoj Baitha, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Sitamarhi district.
Angry over the death of school children, local residents vandalised the school, beat up teachers and set ablaze chairs and benches there.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has expressed sorrow and grief over the incident. The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of each victim.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav visited the hospital to meet the injured and the families of the deceased.
Bihar: Tejashwi Yadav arrived at Shri Krishna Medical College And Hospital in Muzaffarpur to meet the injured & families of the deceased of the incident where a vehicle rammed into a school building leaving 9 students dead & 24 injured. pic.twitter.com/3VBza0uA2m
— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2018
"It's unfortunate. We are being told that the vehicle belongs to a BJP General Secretary. The driver is absconding and the administration has not been able to arrest him so far. Relatives of the deceased are saying that the vehicle has a BJP Board attached to it and people in it were intoxicated," said the RJD leader.
Hitting out at the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, Tejashwi further said, "CM and Sushil Modi Ji are nowhere to be seen. Both of them are trying to shield the culprit. Where did the driver get the liquor from when there is a ban on liquor in the state."
(With inputs from agencies)