Over twenty five schoolchildren were feared dead and 35 others injured in a tragic road accident on Thursday morning in Etah district of Uttar Pradesh.
The driver of the bus was also killed in the accident, while the truck driver, who was injured, has been admitted in the hospital.
Eyewitnesses said the accident took place due to poor visibility in the area.
The bus was carrying nearly 60 students of JS Vidya School when it collided with a truck in Aliganj area of Etah district. The truck was being driven at a high speed when the two vehicles collided head-on.
According to eyewitnesses, it took an hour to take out the bodies from the mangled school bus.
The children on the bus were junior school students between the ages of seven and ten.
A team of doctors has been sent to the spot and those in a serious condition are being referred to Agra and Aligarh hospitals.
According to the UP DGP, the school was open against the order of the district administration to close schools due to cold weather.
Shambhunath Yadav, the Etah District Magistrate, further said that holidays were declared from 18 January to 21 January on account of the weather and action will be taken against “those responsible.”
“Many children are seriously injured. We will take action if anyone found at fault,” said senior police officer Daljeet Chaudhary.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted: “My heart goes out to the families of those children who lost their lives in this tragedy. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.”
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has expressed anguish at the death of the children, and asked all district officials to go to the spot and ensure that the best possible medical care is given to the injured children.
“Anguished by tragic accident in UP’s Etah. I share the pain of the bereaved families & condole passing away of young children,” PM Narendra Modi wrote on twitter.
He further wrote: “I pray that those injured in the accident in Etah recover at the earliest.”