At least 16 students and two women Saturday sustained burn injuries when a gas cylinder of a school van exploded in Gyanpur town here, an official said. The incident took place at around 8 am when the van was ferrying the students to a private school, District Magistrate Rajendra Prasad said.
“The children are from class 1 to 5 and between 5-8 years of age,” he said. They suffered 30 to 90 per cent burns, Prasad, adding the condition of four is said to be critical.
He said the driver of the van, attached to the private school, was using a domestic gas cylinder as fuel for the vehicle. Two women who tried to save the students also suffered burn injuries, Prasad said.
The students along with the women are undergoing treatment at a hospital in Varanasi. “As soon as cylinder exploded, the driver fled the spot, and the two women sustained injuries while trying to save the children,” the district magistrate said.
He said soon after the incident the owner of the school locked the institute and fled. A case has been registered and investigation is on, he said.