7 children die as school van falls into drain in Amritsar; 20 hurt | punjab | Hindustan Times
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7 children die as school van falls into drain in Amritsar; 20 hurt

Seven children were killed and over 20 injured when a rashly driven school van fell into a drain from a bridge at Muhawa village, 35 km from Amritsar, on Tuesday afternoon.

punjab Updated: Sep 21, 2016 08:51 IST
Usmeet Kaur
The school bus was carrying 37 children.
The school bus was carrying 37 children. (HT Photo)

Seven children were killed and over 20 injured when a rashly driven school van fell into a drain from a bridge at Muhawa village, 35 km from Amritsar, on Tuesday afternoon.

The van was taking students back home from DAV Public School, Neshta, when the accident occurred 5 km from the school at 1.30pm.

All children were between seven and 14 years old and belong to the nearby villages of Tibbi, Muhawa and Neshta.

Van driver Charanjit Singh fled after breaking open a window. “The driver was speeding and driving rashly. He joined duty only on Monday. I warned him about the narrow bridge ahead that doesn’t have railings but he didn’t listen. Suddenly the front tyres were in the air and we landed in the drain,” said Class 11 student Karambir Singh.

The van was taking students back home from MKD DAV Public School, Neshta, when the accident took place at 1.30pm.

The deceased have been identified as Gurmanpreet Kaur, 5, Yuvraj Singh, 8, his sister Sehajdeep Kaur, 10, Robinpreet Singh, 8, Jasmine Kaur, 10, Sehajpreet Singh, 7, and Anshpreet Kaur, 5. The children belong to the nearby villages of Tibbi, Muhawa and Neshta.

Driver Satnam Singh, who was appointed on Monday, fled after smashing a window glass.

School bags of the children near the accident spot. (HT Photo)

“He was driving rashly. I warned him about the narrow bridge ahead that doesn’t have railings but he didn’t listen. Suddenly the front tyres were in the air and we landed in the drain,” said a Class-11 student Karanbir Singh, who rescued many students despite being injured. He said there was no attendant in the bus.

Karambir, one of the older students in the van. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)

Karanbir said the doors were jammed and he had to break open windowpanes to come out and rescue the students. “Gradually, the bus got submerged in the drain,” he said, adding some of the senior students managed to swim to safety but the younger ones could not get out. Villagers also helped in the rescue work. They said the bridge has no railings and many mishaps have taken place here in the past.

Hundreds of residents gathered at the spot before the area was cordoned off.

HERO OF THE DAY SAVES MANY

Despite being injured, class11 student Karanbir Singh rescued many students. “He (driver) was driving rashly. I warned him about the narrow bridge ahead that doesn’t have railings but he didn’t listen. Suddenly the front tyres were in the air and we landed in the drain,” said Karanbir. He said the doors were jammed and he had to smash a window glass to come out and rescue the students.