9 children dead as school van falls into gorge

Nine children died and eleven were injured when a van taking them to school fell into a 200-metre-deep gorge in Uttarakhand's Tehri Garhwal district on Tuesday morning, an official said. (File Photo)

Nine children died and eleven were injured when a van taking them to school fell into a 200-metre-deep gorge in Uttarakhand's Tehri Garhwal district on Tuesday morning, an official said.

The accident occurred on the Kangsali-Madannegi road near Lambgaon in Pratap Nagar area, around 150 km from Dehradun, Tehri District Magistrate V Shanmugam said.

Nine children died on the spot and eleven were injured. The driver jumped off the vehicle to save himself and fled the spot, Shanmugam said.

Five children who had sustained serious head injuries were airlifted to the AIIMS Rishikesh. Five others are under treatment at a hospital in Bauradi, while one was taken by his parents to Shrinagar in Pauri district, the district magistrate said.

The children, aged between four-13, were going to the Angels International School, Madannegi. They were from Kangsali village in the area.

Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat expressed grief and ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.

An official said overloading appeared to have been one of the factors that led to the accident as the van could accommodate only 10 people, but was carrying 21, including the driver.

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