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Children covered in blood helped with rescue, say witnesses of Delhi school van accident

One child was flung nearly 20 metres away when the overloaded school van she was travelling in was rammed by a milk tanker on Thursday morning. Witnesses said they saw children lying around with glass shards sticking out of their necks.

delhi Updated: Apr 27, 2018 11:34 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi school van accident,Delhi school vans,Delhi accident
The school van, which was carrying more than 20 children, was rammed by a milk tanker near the Kanhaiya Nagar metro station in New Delhi on Thursday. One girl died and 17 others were injured in the accident. (HT Photo)

Eyewitnesses of Thursday morning crash said that they will forever be haunted by the image of two children, covered in blood, trying to rescue their little friend from inside the school van.

A seven-year-old girl was killed and 17 other students from two north Delhi schools were injured when their overloaded school van was hit by a speeding milk tanker .

“The moment the school van was hit, its doors swung open. Some children were thrown out and landed on the road. Most of the kids sustained severe injuries,” said Deepanshu Gupta, who witnessed the accident seconds after seeing off his own younger school-going brother on a different van.

“One girl was thrown out of the bus and landed under a parked Innova car almost 20m away. Another boy landed on the windshield of an auto-rickshaw. There were injured children lying everywhere on the road. Some of them were motionless. Some children had glass shards sticking out of their necks,” said Gupta.

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Some children were crying out in pain and calling out to their parents. Some others trapped inside the vehicle were begging the van driver to help them, said Narain Saini, another eyewitness. “The van driver was seen rescuing the children despite his own injuries,” said Saini.

Eyewitnesses said that they also noticed that the legs of a girl seated in the front were trapped under the seat. She was badly injured. The van had overturned . “When we began rescuing the girl, we found two little boys joining in to help. They were crying and were injured, but did not bother about their own pain,” said Gupta.

“We were overwhelmed. One auto driver later thanked them and offered them a cloth to stop their bleeding. I gave one of them a bottle of water, but he offered it to another injured boy lying on the road,” said Gupta.

The policemen stationed nearby and locals then joined hands to move the injured children to different hospitals. “There were some car owners and auto drivers who refused to help,” said Saini.

However, the efforts of the locals were not enough to save seven-year-old Garima Chauhan, a Class 3 student of Kendriya Vidyalaya. “She was seated in the middle seat, right at the point of impact in the crash,” said Saini.

Gupta said he had noticed the tanker driver trying to flee. “First I thought of chasing and catching him, but then I realised that the injured children should be attended to on a priority basis,” said Gupta.The 38-year-old driver was nabbed by some policemen nearby.

First Published: Apr 27, 2018 09:34 IST