HYDERABAD, July 24 (IANS): In a ghastly accident, at least 19 students were killed Thursday when a train rammed into a school bus at an unmanned rail-road crossing in Medak district of Telangana, police said.
Some 20 other children were injured in the ghastly accident at Masayipet, about 70 km from here, when the bus of a private school was taking the students to their school.
Police said the Nanded-Secunderabad passenger train hit the vehicle around 9.15 a.m. The driver of the bus was also killed.
The toll could rise as many of the 20 injured and shifted to a private hospital in Hyderabad were reportedly in critical condition.
There were 40 children in the bus. It was proceeding to Toopran from Islampur.
Such was the impact of the collision that the train dragged the bus up to one kilometre. Local people extricated the bodies from the mangled mess.
Most victims were aged between six and 12 years.
Heart rending scenes were witnessed at the scene. The cries of the injured kids brought tears to everyone.
Parents and relatives cried inconsolably near the bodies.
A man who lost his three children was inconsolable. Another man suffered cardiac arrest after he came to know that both his children were dead.
Books, lunch boxes and shoes of the children were strewn all around the site.
Hundreds of people from neighbouring villages rushed to the site. Angry villagers stoned South Central Railway officials who reached there.
Police used batons to disperse the protestors who then blocked the nearby highway.
Irrigation Minister Harish Rao rushed to the scene and supervised the rescue and relief work. He directed officials to shift the injured to Hyderabad.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao expressed shock over the accident. He directed officials to provide immediate and best treatment to the injured.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu also expressed grief over the tragedy.