At least eight girl students and a warden were killed while around 40 students and teachers were injured, many of them critically, after a school bus overturned in Manipur’s Bishnupur district on Wednesday, the police said.
The bus carrying the girl students and some teachers suddenly overturned when the driver was negotiating a turn on the Old Cachar Road near Longsai, killing at least five students on the spot and injuring 44 others.
The injured were admitted to different hospitals, where three students and a school warden succumbed to their injuries.
The death toll is likely to increase as the condition of many of the injured students is stated to be critical.
The accident site is around 55 km from state capital Imphal.
The police said that the students of Thambalnu Higher Secondary School accompanied by teachers and school staff went on an annual study tour to Khoupum in Bishnupur district in two buses. The bus in which the girl students were travelling met with the accident.
Expressing shock over the accident, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh tweeted: “Deeply saddened to hear about the accident of a bus carrying school children on the Old Cachar Road today. SDRF, medical team and MLAs have rushed to the site to coordinate the rescue operation. Praying for the safety of everyone on the bus.”
The Chief Minister, who also visited the accident site and supervised the rescue operation, said that the state government has announced Rs 5 lakh each for the kin of the victims, while Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000 have been sanctioned for the critically and minor injured, respectively.
In view of the tragic accident, the state education department directed all the principals and heads of schools in the state not to organise/conduct excursions till January 10, to avoid any untoward incident.