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Kushinagar Accident: 13 Children Killed as Train Hits School Van at Unmanned Railway Crossing

The children, students of Divine Public School, were killed on the spot.

News18.com

Updated:April 26, 2018, 6:15 PM IST
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New Delhi: Fourteen children were killed and eight others injured when their school van was hit by a train at an unmanned railway crossing in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar area, around 50km from Gorakhpur, on Thursday morning.

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, said Railways spokesman Ved Prakash. The train was on way to Gorakhpur from Siwan.

There were at least 25 people, including children who were below the age of 10 years, the official said.

"It was unmanned level crossing gate at Behpurva, with Gate Mitra deployed there. He tried to stop but 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.

Injured children were rushed to Pandrauna Hospital which is 30 km from the accident site.

Expressing condolence, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims and directed Gorakhpur commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the accident.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, too, expressed his grief over the accident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each to the kin of the victims.

"I am saddened by the news of school children dying in a train accident. I have spoken to senior railway officials and ordered an inquiry into it," Goyal said in a tweet.

The administration has since closed down the school. The school principle/manager, Karim Khan, has also been arrested. He has been charged of operating the school without adequate certificates and possessing a school van that lacked fitness papers.

This is the second such accident to claim lives of school children this month. On April 10, 27 children below the age of 10 had died when their school bus fell into a 100-feet deep gorge in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra.

With PTI inputs

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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