Tree falls over school bus; kills 5 kids in Kerala

Tree falls over school bus; kills 5 kids  in Kerala

A tree fell over a school bus at Nellimattom area of Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district on Friday killing five children.

The deceased, identified as Krishnendu (5), Gauri (9), Johan (13), Ameen and Isha, are students of Vidyavikas School in Karukadom area of Kothamangalam. Seven other children, the driver and a female school assistant were injured in the incident. 

Condition of one of the children admitted to the Kolanchery Medical Mission Hospital with a head injury is learnt to be critical. The injured in the accident have been admitted to two hospitals. 

The bus was carrying children home after school when a huge tree fell on it at about 4.45 pm. Initial reports suggested that the three had been uprooted in the heavy rains and gust. The tree fell on the centre portion of the bus, severely damaging the vehicle. 

Residents in the area removed parts of the uprooted tree; cut open the mangled vehicle to extricate the children trapped in before the fire force and police could join the operation. 

Residents said despite repeated requests to cut old and dangerously spread-out trees flanking the road, authorities failed to take follow-up action. Minister for Forests Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan told television channels that the Forest Department would be instructed to compile a list of old trees and initiate necessary action.

Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob said the government would study complaints over dangerous trees that could cause mishaps. 

“It’s true that these issues are highlighted only after such incidents. The government will initiate action to make sure that these tragedies are not repeated,” the minister told reporters in Kothamangalam. 

The government announced Rs 4 lakh each as compensation to the victims’ families, besides bearing the medical expenses of the injured. 

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