Two students of Government Elementary School, Jandiali village, about 20 km from Ludhiana, died after an overloaded, speeding truck rammed into the school boundary wall and caught fire on Friday morning. The school is situated along the Ludhiana-Chandigarh highway.
The wall collapse claimed the lives of Class-5 students Kulveer Kaur (10) and Sukhdeep Kaur (11), both residents of Jandiali, near Kohara village. Five students suffered serious injuries, including Kajal (11), Anmol Pandey (10), Priyanka (11) and Kajal (10), who were admitted to the Christian Medical College (CMC) hospital here. Their condition is said to be critical. Priyanka also suffered burns as hot engine oil from the truck spilled on her. Another student, Shivani (11), was admitted to the Ludhiana civil hospital. School principal Harminder Kaur was also hospitalised after she fainted due to shock.
The Sahnewal police registered a case under sections 302 (murder) and 304 (causing deaths due to negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against truck driver Lakhbir Singh, a Faridkot resident, and arrested him soon after the incident, which occurred city.
Overloaded with rubber material, the truck bearing registration number of Rajasthan was heading towards Nawanshahr from Moga via Machhiwara. The driver's helper, Thana Singh, was also injured. He was admitted to the CMC hospital.
According to eyewitnesses, the truck driver lost control of the vehicle and rammed it into the school wall after jumping the divider. The incident occurred around 8:35am, when the students were playing near the boundary wall before the start of the school assembly.
Ludhiana deputy commissioner Rahul Tiwari reached the spot and stated that Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had announced Rs. 2 lakh each as compensation for families of the deceased. The CM also announced free treatment for the injured.
Education minister Sikander Singh Maluka expressed grief over the incident.