Tehri school bus accident: Death toll goes up to 10, pall of gloom in Kangsali …



A pall of gloom descended on Kangsali village in Tehri Garhwal district on Wednesday, a day after nine children from the village, aged 4-13, were killed in a road accident. With one of the hospitalised children succumbing to his injuries on Thursday early morning, the death toll in the accident has gone up to 10.

“Ever since the children were cremated yesterday (Tuesday) evening, everyone in the village is just stunned. The parents of the deceased children don’t know how to react….they are just crying inconsolably,” said Diwan Singh Chauhan, a resident of the village.

Another villager Buddhi Singh said over phone, “In many houses, no food was cooked as they are mourning. The nine families, which lost their innocent souls, were offered food by other families who coked for them and tried to console them for their irreparable loss of dear ones.”

On Tuesday, nine children were killed and 11 others injured after a school van in which they were travelling in plunged into a gorge in Lambgaon area near Madannegi, where their school is located.

Among the injured, five students were airlifted to AIIMS in Rishikesh while six others are undergoing treatment at a hospital in Tehri Garhwal.

A 6-year-old, who was among the 11 injured in the accident, succumbed to serious head injuries while undergoing treatment in All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Rishikesh on Thursday early morning, officials said.

The deceased child was identified as Suraj.

“We were informed by the AIIMS authorities that he passed away on Thursday at around 5.30 am. He had suffered a serious head injury and was admitted in the hospital’s ICU,” said V Shanmugam, district magistrate, Tehri Garhwal.

“Sub-divisional magistrate of Narendra Nagar, Yukta Mishra has left for Rishikesh after the tragedy. Appropriate arrangements would be made by the administration to bring his body to his village if his parents want to cremate him there,” he said.

Informing about the other four children in AIIMS, the DM added, “Among the other four, one more child named Rishabh is said to be in critical condition and is under constant observation of the doctors.”

Meanwhile, Juhi Mandral, station house officer of Lambgaon, said the driver of the vehicle and his father were arrested.

“The accused’s father Prem Raturi was arrested today (Wednesday) while his son Lakshman Raturi, who was driving the vehicle, was arrested last evening,” said Mandral.

“Both of them were on the run after the incident but later surrendered before police. They were arrested.”

On the reason behind the accident, she said, “So far, it seems to be sheer negligence on part of the driver. The vehicle was overloaded and he lost control over it which caused it to plunge down the gorge. However, both he and his father managed to jump off vehicle to save themselves without thinking about the children inside.”

“The police department along the transport department has been strictly checking school vans and buses for overloading and fitness. We have also spoken to the local taxi-operators to avoid overloading of passengers or else face the music,” she said.

First Published:
Aug 08, 2019 15:30 IST

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