13 children dead after train collides with school van in UP; CM Yogi Adityanath promises 'strict action'

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 26, 2018, 08.17 AM(IST)

Thirteen school children have died in Uttar Pradesh after a train collided with the van they were travelling in. The accident occurred at an unmanned crossing in the state's Kushinagar district. Photograph:( ANI )

Thirteen schoolchildren have died in Uttar Pradesh after a train collided with the van they were travelling in. 

The accident occurred at an unmanned crossing in the state's Kushinagar district. 

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityananth visited the accident site where he said four other children and the van driver were critically injured. 

An "enquiry will be conducted to nab those responsible," he added. 

Adityanath added that he had spoken to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and that "prima facie (it) appears to be (the) mistake of the van driver". 

Adityanath said the van driver had "earphones on and there are questions over his age too". 

"Strict action will be taken," he added. 

Meanwhile, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said in Delhi that they are "trying to eliminate unmanned level crossings".

Adityanath had earlier released a statement expressing his "deepest condolences on this very unfortunate incident and directed district administration to provide all help and medical aid."

He also announced ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the victims. 

An enquiry was also ordered by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. 

"I have asked senior officials to conduct an inquiry into the incident. Railways will provide an ex-gratia amount of Rs 2 lakh each to families of the deceased,"  Goyal tweeted. 

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 "Appropriate action" was also promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

"I am extremely saddened on hearing about the death of 11 school students in a collision between a school van and a train in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar. UP government and railway department will take appropriate action," Modi said while speaking to the BJP's candidates for the upcoming Karnataka elections and party workers. 

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