At least 13 children have died and eight others injured after a speeding train hit a school bus at an unmanned crossing in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar, around 50 km from Gorakhpur, an official said.
The accident occurred on Thursday when the school bus of Divine Public School, carrying nearly 25 students, was passing through the unmanned crossing gate at Behpurva in Khushinagar and collided with the speeding train, the official said, adding that 11 children were killed on the spot. The injured were rushed to a hospital.
"It was unmanned level crossing gate at Behpurva, with Gate Mitra (person who alerts road-users about approaching trains at unmanned level crossings) deployed there. He tried to stop but unfortunate incident happened at unmanned gate 45 near Dudhi station in Banaras division," the official told news agency PTI.
An accident relief medical train from Gorakhpur has been dispatched to the site, he said.
"In the unfortunate train accident of school children in Kushinagar where students of Divine Public School have died, the 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 ex-gratia of Rs 2 Lakhs and also directed the Commissioner Gorakhpur to conduct an inquiry immediately on the cause of this accident," an official from the UP government said.
There were at least 25 people, most of whom were children below the age of 10 years, he said.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed top officials of Gorakhpur to conduct an inquiry into the accident.
The Chief Minister has also announced compensation of Rs. 2 lakh for the families of the victims.
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.