Piyush Goyal orders inquiry into Kushinagar train-school van accident
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today ordered an inquiry into Kushinagar train-school van accident and announced a compensation of Rs. 2L for the kin of deceased. "We stand committed to take all possible steps to avoid such accidents in future," he said. He also said Railways will provide an ex-gratia amount of Rs. 1L for those with serious injuries and Rs. 50,000 for minor injuries.
What was the incident?
Thirteen students of Divine Public School were killed and eight others injured when Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train crashed into the school van at unmanned crossing gate in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar, around 50km from Gorakhpur this morning. The train was on way to Gorakhpur from Siwan. There were at least 25 passengers, including children who were below 10 years' age, in the van, an official said.
India has 3,479 unmanned level crossings in Railways
Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said there was a rail mitra (rail volunteer) at the spot, who tried to stop the school van, but the driver did not stop, adding that this is the first accident at an unmanned level crossing this year. Ashwani Lohani said there are currently 3,479 unmanned level crossings on broad gauge of Indian Railways.
109 accidents took place on unmanned level crossings since 2014-15
The railway board chairman also said that a total of 109 accidents have taken place at unmanned level crossings in the country since 2014-15 and asserted that railways aim to eliminate unmanned level crossings by March 2020.