Bhubaneswar, July 19 (IANS) In a tragic incident, at least five school students were killed and four others suffered critical injuries after being run over by a speeding truck on a national highway in Odisha’s Bhadrak district on Thursday.
The incident occurred on NH-16 at Ranitela near Rahanja of Bhadrak district when the children were returning from school.
Bhadrak District Collector Gyana Ranjan Das said that while four students died on the spot, one succumbed in the hospital.
The three injured students have been admitted in the district headquarters hospital, while one student, who has received multiple injuries, has been sent to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, said A. Rashid, Chief Medical Officer of the district.
The children were students of Class IX of a Ranitela high school.
Locals said the accident occurred due to the rash driving by the 10-wheeler truck driver. The driver and the helper of the truck are absconding since the accident. Enraged over the incident, the locals set fire to the vehicle.
Expressing grief over the road accident, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of deceased. He also announced free treatment for the injured and wished them a speedy recovery.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families.