Kushinagar bus-train accident kills 13 students; Yogi orders probe: Updates

The Kushinagar school bus-train collision killed 13 students of Divine Public School. Injured students were shifted to nearby hospital for treatment. Catch latest updates on Kushinagar bus accident

An early-morning accident in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar on Thursday saw at least 13 school students being killed as the vehicle they were travelling in collided with a passenger train at an unmanned crossing. All the victims were students of the town’s Divine Public School. Six other students were seriously injured; Kushinagar district Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Akhilesh Kumar told news agencies that one child and the driver of the van were in a critical condition.

The incident took place at the Dudhi Behpurva gate at 7.10 am. The injured were rushed to Pandrauna Hospital, 30 km from the accident site. Railways spokesperson Ved Prakash told news agencies that the children died on the spot as the Siwan-Gorakhpur passenger train crashed into the van at the crossing, 100 km from Gorakhpur. “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.

According to a North Eastern (NE) Railway official, at least 25 people, mostly children below the age of 10 years, were travelling in the van when the incident occurred.

Here are the top updates and developments in the Kushinagar bus-train collision:

1) Accident relief medical train dispatched: An accident relief medical train from Gorakhpur was dispatched to the site, the NE official said. Several senior officials have also rushed to the accident site, and an inquiry has been ordered.

2) Death toll may rise: A total of 18 school students were travelling in the vehicle involved in the Kushinagar accident. Anand Kumar, ADG (Law and Order), told news agencies that many of the other seven were critically injured, adding that the death toll could go up. Previous reports had said that a total of 20 students were travelling in the vehicle.

3) Adityanath orders inquiry, announces ex-gratia: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed his deepest condolences over this “very unfortunate incident” in a statement on the Kushinagar Bus accident, according to news agencies. The chief minister directed the district administration to provide all the help and medical aid required by those affected.

Further, the statement said, Adityanath declared an ex-gratia of Rs 200,000 (Rs 2 lakh) to the next of kin of the victims and directed an inquiry into the cause of the accident.

4) Piyush Goyal also orders inquiry, announces ex-gratia: Commenting on the Kushinagar accident, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted that he had asked senior officials to conduct an inquiry into the incident, adding that the Railways would provide an ex-gratia amount of Rs 200,000 (Rs 2 lakh) each to the families of the deceased. In September last year, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had said that the target of removing all unmanned level crossings could be achieved within a year, instead of the initial goal of doing it in three years. “Initially, the Railways had a target of removing all unmanned crossings in three years. But, I told them, why not do it within a year,” he had said.

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