An accident in Northern India involving a school bus and a train has left 13 children dead, including the bus driver.
The students, all aged below 10, were being driven to class in Uttar Pradesh state when a passenger train collided with their vehicle at an unmanned railway crossing.
The impact of the crash lifted the bus several metres into the air, killing 10 children instantly, district chief medical officer Akhilesh Kumar Singh told AFP.
“Three succumbed to the injuries at the hospital and five remain critical,” he added.
Local television showed footage of dozens of locals attempting to rescue the children from the vehicle’s mangled wreckage.
“In the unfortunate train crash in Kushinagar district, grieving school children died.“Pray to strengthen the peace and the kin of the deceased soul from God.“Instructed to arrange the proper treatment of those affected by accident and help every possible.”
India has some of the world’s deadliest roads, claiming the lives of more than 150,000 people each year.
India is home to hundreds of railway crossings that are unmanned and particularly accident prone, with motorists often ignoring oncoming train warnings.
Nearly 15,000 people die on the country’s railways every year, according to a 2012 government report.
The government of the country has however vowed to upgrade unattended railway crossings next year to reduce fatal accidents. About 90% of the country’s population depend on the train system from transportation across the country.