New Delhi, Jul 24: Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda on Thursday blamed the driver of the school bus for the accident at an unmanned rail-road crossing in Telangana, which left at least 19 students dead. ”According to preliminary reports received by me, the incident took place due to the negligent driving by the school bus driver,” he informed the Lok Sabha.
“The unmanned level crossing in Medak district has relatively low traffic density,” Gowda said in a statement. He added that the injured have been shifted to nearby hospitals. The minister also announced Rs.2 lakh ex-gratia to the kin of the deceased, Rs. one lakh to those injured critically and Rs.20,000 to those with minor injuries.
At least 19 students were killed and some 20 other children injured in the accident around 9.15 a.m. on Thursday at Masayipet, about 70 km from Hyderabad, when a train hit the bus of a private school that was taking the children to their school.