In a tragic incident, at least 15 children were killed and and over 30 others injured after a school bus collided with a truck on Thursday in Etah district of Uttar Pradesh.
Most of the deceased students belonged to standard one to eight. The driver of the bus was also killed in the accident.
The school bus was ferrying around 50 students to Aliganj’s JS Public School in Etah.
According to preliminary information, a majority of those injured are said to be in a critical condition. 15 children, who sustained major injuries, have been referred specialised government hospital in Aligarh.
The incident took place after the school bus collided with a truck, being driven at high speed, in Aliganj area of Etah district. It is alleged that the fog hampered the visibility of both drivers.
Eyewitnesses said that it took over an hour to safely remove the bodies from the mangled bus.
The superintendent of police confirmed that 15 children had died, and that the toll could potentially rise.
The victims were on the their way to the school depsite the fact that the District Magistrate had directed all schools in the area to remain closed till January 21 on account of cold wave.
“Holidays were declared from Jan 18th till Jan 21st. We will take action against those responsible,” Etah District Magistrate Shambhunath Yadav said following the incident.
Meanwhile, Aliganj CO and other senior officials arrived at the spot to oversee rescue operations. Some even visited the government hospital where the victims were undergoing treatment.
“Priority is to rescue trapped children. Rescue operation is underway. Strict action will be taken against the school,” UP DGP Javeed Ahmad told ANI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his pain and anguish over the incident. “Anguished by tragic accident in UP’s Etah. I share the pain of the bereaved families and condole passing away of young children,” he said.
“I pray that those injured in the accident in Etah recover at the earliest,” he added.
Owing to the heavy snowfall in the states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, the state of Uttar Pradesh is reeling under an intense cold wave, which is expected to continue till January 22.
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— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 19, 2017