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14 school kids were killed and over a dozen severely injured this morning when a train rammed into a school bus carrying them to their school in Medak district near Hyderabad.
The incident occurred at an unmanned railway crossing at Masayapeta when the driver let the bus move onto the tracks, without observing caution. The Nanded-Secunderabad passenger which came at the same time crashed into the bus and dragged it for over two hundred meters. The driver, who is said to be new to the assignment and the cause of the accident, and his help also died.
The accident site presented gory scenes with mangled remains of the bus, bodies of the children strewn around the tracks and the wails of the parents.
The injured are moved to the hospitals at nearby Kompally, Tupran. There were about 40 kids on the bus of Kakatiya School.
Earlier reports projected the death toll as 20.
Telangana CM K Chadrasekhara Rao expressed his shock over the incident and rushed his ministers to the spot who participated in rescue etc operations.
"We are moving the kids to Hyderabad. We are making every effort to save the lives of the injured kids," said Telangana education minister Jagadeeswar Reddy at a local hospital.
Tense scenes prevailed at the accident site as the locals, demanding justice – compensation and action against officials - blocked the authorities from taking away the bodies in ambulances.
Police had to resort to a mild baton-charge to control the stone pelting mob. Locals alleged that the rail-crossing was left unmanned despite their requests in the past.
Some of the parents who arrived at the accident site fainted seeing their little ones, whom they readied for the school with tiffin boxes etc., a little while back, dead. Reports say a father of two kids who died in the accident died of heart attack hearing the news.
CM KCR visited the Yashoda Hospital in Secunderabad where some of the injured kids were brought for treatment. The state announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh to each of the families of the deceased kids.
AP CM Nara Chandrababu Naidu and leader of opposition Jaganmohan Reddy also expressed shock and condolences over the unfortunate incident. Reddy visited the accident spot.
Video: School bus collides with train in Telangana