Running late for school, the driver was speeding and lost control of the vehicle on a curve on NH-71 and hit a truck, superintendent of police Rajinder Singh told HT.
The impact was such that the van’s roof blew away, the SP said. Passersby rescued 10 children, who have been admitted to Kamal Hospital, Nakodar, and civil hospital in Jalandhar, where the condition of some is critical.
The driver’s helper and brother were also injured. “The 14 bodies were handed over to the families,” the SP added.
The van had been hired by the children’s parents as the school has no transport service for students.
School principal Amandeep Kaur said, “We have nothing to do with the van.” She added, “It is a sad and shocking incident. We have lost 13 students.” The school authorities have announced compensation of R1 lakh each to families of the deceased children and Rs. 50,000 each to the injured.