At least 13 students from Divine Public School in Kushinagar district in Uttar Pradesh died and four others were critically injured on Thursday after the Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train collided with their school van at an unmanned crossing gate at Behpurva. According to local eyewitnesses, the van stalled on the tracks before it was hit by a train. The train left from Siwan and was headed to Gorakhpur. Reacting to the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed his deepest condolences and announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each to the family members of the deceased and ordered an inquiry by the Gorakhpur commissioner. “The children, students of Divine Public School, were killed on the spot when Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train (55075) crashed into the van at an unmanned crossing gate at Behpurva,” PTI quoted spokesperson for Railways, Ved Prakash as saying. Also Read | Yogi Adityanath says driver at fault, was wearing earphones
Kushinagar train-bus collision LIVE UPDATES: At least 13 students killed in an accident in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar district.
Kushinagar train-bus collision pictures
Here are some pictures from the accident site in Kushinagar where the Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train collided with a school van, killing 13 students. (Pictures by Vishal Srivastav)
Principal of school where the children studied detained
The principal of Divine Public School, who was apparently absconding after the accident, has been detained by police. The thirteen children who were killed in the accident were students of this school. The vehicle carrying them collided with a train at an unmanned crossing. Earlier, PTI had reported that the school was unregistered.
Protesters complain of 'irresponsible attitude' of hospital staff
Protests erupted in Kushinagar as CM Yogi Adityanath vistited the accident site in the afternoon. The agitators demanded that railway personnel should be posted at the unmanned crossing to avoid such accidents. Members of Bar Council, Kushinagar, also complained about the "irresponsible attitude" of the district hospital staff. "As soon as they saw 13 bodies, senior officials of district hospital at Kushinagar referred four injured children and the driver to BRD Hospital without even administering first aid," members of the Bar Council complained to the chief minister, according to an official.
'Narebaazi band karo, nautanki band karo,' Adityanath tells protesters
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath faced widespread protests when he went to the accident site in Kushinagar where 13 children were killed when a train rammed into their school van at an unmanned railway crossing. Addressing the protesters, Adityanath asked them to stop raising slogans and stop the drama. "Narebaazi band karo, nautanki band karo," PTI quoted the CM as saying.
UP minister Surya Pratap Shahi at accident site
UP Cabinet Minister Surya Pratap Shahi visited the site of accident in which 13 school students died after collision between a school van and train in Kushinagar. Four students and the driver of the van have been admitted to BRD Medical College Hospital. PTI reported that the school was unregistered. Reacting to the report, CM Yogi Adityanath said an inquiry would be conducted.
UP Cabinet Minister Surya Pratap Shahi visited the site of accident in which 13 school students died after collision between a school van and train, in Kushinagar. 4 students & the driver of the van injured and admitted to hospital. pic.twitter.com/HhAA5pBkh0— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 26, 2018
Yogi Adityanath visits BRD hospital
CM Yogi Adityanath visited BRD Medical College where the treatment of four children and the driver of the van is underway.
Governor Ram Naik also condoled the death of minor children in the accident.
"I have met the family members of the victims and both the state government and Railways will extend financial help. An FIR was being lodged into the case," Adityanath said.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi expresses condolences
कुशीनगर में हुए दर्दनाक बस हादसे में 13 मासूम बच्चों की मौत की खबर सुनकर आहत हूँ। स्थानीय कांग्रेस कार्यकर्ताओं से मेरा अनुरोध है कि दुर्घटना से प्रभावित परिवारों की हर संभव तरीके से मदद करें।— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 26, 2018
Arvind Bharati informed that even Railways have ordered an inquiry adding, "Railway traffic Inspector, Padrauna reached the site and arranged an ambulance. GM, DRM, HODs had left for the site. JA (Junior Administrative) grade inquiry ordered."
Sanjay Yadav, Public Information Officer, North Eastern Railways, Gorakhpur, informed that "Train no. 55075 dashed with Tata Magic carrying school children at an unmanned level crossing no-45 at about 7.00 am, between (Tamkuhi Road - Dudahi) stations of Thawe and Kaptanganj section, according to the train driver. Gate Mitra Arvind Bharati was available at UMLC and tried to stop Tata Magic but vehicle driver didn't stop."
Among those who died included all the three children of Amarjeet Prasad, who is Gram Pradhan of Misrauli village in Kushinagar. Sources inform that one of the injured children have revealed that the driver had put on the earphones because of which he could not hear the train.
"Basically, people have to be careful while crossing rail tracks, there is no substitute for that. We can't take any step that is full proof of negligence," Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said.
Deeply pained to know about the death of innocent children in a tragic road accident at an unmanned crossing in #UttarPradesh's #Kushinagar. My heartfelt condolences to their parents. May God give them strength in this most difficult hour... May the injured students recover soon— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) April 26, 2018
We stand committed to take all possible steps to avoid such accidents in future, says Piyush Goyal
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal in a statement said:
I am deeply anguished and pained by the loss of lives of young school children at an unmanned level crossing (UMLC) in Kushinagar, UP. My thoughts are with families of the deceased and I pray for the early recovery of the injured.
Ministry of Railways will provide an ex gratia amount of Rs 2 lakh for kin of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh for those with serious injuries and Rs 50,000 for those with simple injuries.
I have ordered a senior level enquiry into the incident.
We stand committed to take all possible steps to avoid such accidents in future.
The UP CM also said, "13 students have died, 4 students and the van driver are critically injured. They are admitted to BRD Medical College. An inquiry will be conducted to nab those responsible. I spoke to Railway Minister also about ways to man the unmanned railway crossings."
Yogi Adityanath says strict action will be taken
Yogi Adityanath said, "Spoke to Railway minister. Prima facie appears to be a mistake of the van driver, he had earphones on and there are questions about his age too. There are rules in place, an inquiry will be conducted as to why they were not followed. Strict action will be taken."
Yogi Adityanath at the accident site
Trying to eliminate unmanned level crossings, says Railway Board Chairman
Reacting to the accident, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said, "We are trying to eliminate unmanned level crossings. According to latest reports, 13 school students have died in collision between a school van and train in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar. (ANI photo)
My condolences on t loss of precious lives of children in t unfortunate train accident at Kushinagar. May Almighty give strength to t bereaved families to bear this colossal loss. I hav directed @adgzonegorkhpur to reach the spot immediately and supervise t relief & rescue work.— DGP UP (@dgpup) April 26, 2018
Local Congress MLA, Ajay Kumar 'Lallu', who too rushed the spot, told The Indian Express: "Local Village head Amarjeet lost his three children while one Haider Ali's two kids died in the tragedy.
Soon the vicinity echoed with screams of kids and nearby villagers rushed to the spot to find 13 children lying dead and four others critically injured. The driver too was lying seriously injured. The locals and police arranged an ambulance to rush the injured to the medical college.
'Train dragged van for over 100 metres'
As the van drove through the track, the speeding train hit the vehicle dragging it to over 100 metres, the eyewitness informs.
The van was carrying 17 children
According to an eyewitness, the Tata Magic van of Divine Public School was carrying 17 children to the school when the driver who reportedly was driving the vehicle rashly tried crossing the unmanned railway crossing around 6.50 am while the train was blowing horn continuously.
Yogi Adityanath reaches Kushinagar
CM Yogi Adityanath reached the spot and met the family members of the deceased children.
The incident happened due to negligent driving by the school van driver. The van driver too is critically injured. The injured children and the driver are rushed to the BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur. All the children met the tragedy are below 10 years of age.
Huge crowd gathered at the site soon after the accident.
'It was an unmanned level crossing gate at Behpurva, with Gate Mitra (rail volunteer) deployed there. He tried to stop the van but the unfortunate incident happened at unmanned gate 45 near Dudhi station in Banaras division,' the spokesperson said in New Delhi. (Express photo)
President Kovind expresses sadness over Kushinagar accident
PM Modi: Extremely saddened to hear about death of school students in UP
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 # . UP government and railway dept will take appropriate action: Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Have asked senior officials to conduct inquiry into the incident, says Piyush Goyal
Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal in a tweet said, "I have asked senior officials to conduct an inquiry into the incident. Railways will provide an ex-gratia amount of Rs 2 lakh each to families of the deceased."
कुशीनगर में हुए हादसे में स्कूली बच्चों की मृत्यु का दुःखद समाचार मिला, मैंने सीनियर अधिकारियों द्वारा हादसे की इन्क्वायरी के निर्देश दिए हैं, मृतको के परिवार जनों को रेलवे की ओर से दो लाख रुपये की सहायता दी जायेगी जो उप्र सरकार द्वारा दी जा रही दो लाख की राशि के अतिरिक्त होगी।— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) April 26, 2018
Seven students are critically injured
Anand Kumar, ADG (Law and Order)said, "Total 18 school students were travelling in the vehicle out of which 11 have died, many of the rest 7 are critically injured, the death toll may go up."
CM Yogi Adityanath orders probe
An official from UP government in a statement said, "In the unfortunate train accident of schoolchildren in Kushinagar where students of Divine Public School have died Hon CM has expressed his deepest condolences on this very unfortunate incident and directed the district administration to provide all possible help and medical aid and declared exgratia of Rs 2 lakhs and also directed the Commissioner Gorakhpur to conduct an enquiry immediately on the cause of this accident."
Yogi Adityanath to arrive at spot in helicopter
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to arrive at the spot in a helicopter, according to TV reports.
According to local eyewitnesses, the van stalled on the tracks before it was hit by a train. The train was on way to Gorakhpur from Siwan.