NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday condoled the death of the thirteen children who were killed in Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh after a school van rammed into a train. "I am extremely saddened on hearing about the death of school students in a collision between a school van and a train in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar. The UP government and the Railway Department will take appropriate action," he said.
While thirteen people including children were killed in the accident, seven others were seriously injured. The mishap took place on Thursday morning at around 6:45-7 am when Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train (55075) was passing the railway crossing. There were at least 25 people, mostly children in the van.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also expressed condolence and announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each to the family of the deceased. He is heading to Kushinagar for on-the-spot assessment of accident site. The UP CM has ordered an immediate inquiry into the matter by the Gorakhpur commissioner and directed the district administration to provide all possible help and medical aid to the victims.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal 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," he said in a tweet. An accident relief medical train from Gorakhpur has been dispatched to the site.
The children, students of Divine Public School, were killed on the spot when the passenger train crashed into the van at the unmanned crossing gate at Behpurva. As per witnesses, all those killed in the crash are aged under 10. Many of those injured could not even be taken to the hospital and succumbed to their injuries on the spot.
Eyewitnesses are blaming it on the administration as the incident took place on an unmanned railway crossing. The death toll is likely to rise. As per initial reports, the bus belonged to Divine public school in Kushinagar.