13 children killed as train hits school van at unmanned crossing
Thirteen children were killed and eight others injured when a train rammed into their school van at an unmanned railway crossing in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar area, around 50 km from Gorakhpur, this morning, a railway official said. The children, students of Divine Public School, were killed on the spot when the Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train crashed into the van at the unmanned crossing gate at Behpurva, said Railways spokesman Ved Prakash. The train was on way to Gorakhpur from Siwan.
There were at least 25 passengers, including children who were below the age of 10, in the van, the official said. “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. An accident relief medical train from Gorakhpur has been dispatched to the site, he said.
Expressing condolence, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims and directed the Gorakhpur commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the accident, according to Principal Secretary (Information) Awanish Awasthi. He said the chief minister was rushing to the accident site for an on-the-spot assessment. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal 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.