7 kids die as van, train collide
Seven schoolchildren and their driver were killed when their school van collided with a train at an unmanned level crossing in Nurmahal, near Jalandhar, on Wednesday.india Updated: May 21, 2009 02:08 IST
Seven schoolchildren and their driver were killed when their school van collided with a train at an unmanned level crossing in Nurmahal, near Jalandhar, on Wednesday.
Twenty students were injured in the accident, which took place in Gumtala village.
The van carrying 27 students was entering Gumtala to pick up more children when it came in the path of the train, coming from Lohian Khas to Ludhiana. One student and the driver died on the spot while six others died at the Dayanand Medical Collage and Hospital in Ludhiana.
Train operator Tilak Raj said he blew his horn to alert the van driver and even applied the emergency brakes, but couldn't avoid the collision. The train dragged the van for about 200 metres.
Four of the students who died belonged to Dalla village, three came from nearby Kandola Kalan while the driver was from Gumtala.
Most of the 20 students in hospital have head injuries and five of them are said to be critical.
The Ludhiana Government Railway Police have registered a case against the driver.
The train developed a snag after the collision and had to be towed to Ludhiana. It was cancelled for the day and an inquiry ordered.
At the accident site, villagers blocked the railway track and demanded that the unmanned level crossing be converted into a manned crossing, and railway officials responsible for the accident be punished. They also sought compensation for the affected families.
The government announced Rs 1 lakh in ex-gratia payment to the relatives of the dead and Rs 50,000 to each of the injured, whose medical expenses would be borne by the administration.