Thirteen children killed in India as train hits school van

People gather around the mangled school van after it collided with a moving train in Kushinagar Uttar Pradesh on Thursday morning

People gather around the mangled school van after it collided with a moving train in Kushinagar Uttar Pradesh on Thursday morning

Indian men inspect a school van that was hit by a train at an ungated railroad crossing, near Kushinagar, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The chief minister, who visited Kushinagar, reportedly lost his cool and asked the protesting crowd not to do "nautanki" [drama] at the accident site.

The Chief Minister also ordered to register an FIR against the principal of the school. "Narebazi band karo, nautanki band karo" [stop raising slogans, stop this drama]. "Note, what I am saying", Yogi Adityanath said to protesters. Some protesters squatted on the tracks demanding railway personnel be posted at the unmanned crossing to avoid such accidents.

He also enquired about the treatment being given to the injured at a hospital.

The incident took place at the Dudhi Behpurva gate at 7.10 a.m. when the children were headed to the Divine Public School.

The train was on its way to Gorakhpur from Siwan.

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According to a North Eastern (NE) Railway official, at least 25 people, mostly children below the age of 10 years were travelling in the van when the incident occurred.

"I spoke to the Railway Minister and have requested him to find a way out to ensure that such unmanned railway crossings be manned", he said.

The level crossing was described as "unmanned", with no barrier to stop road traffic.

A statement from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said he was on his way to the site of the accident.

They blamed the van driver for the accident claiming that the driver was listening to the music via earphones and was unmindful of the approaching train.

This is the second major accident involving school children in a little over two weeks.

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