Four children were killed after their school van caught fire at Longowal town in Sangrur district of Punjab on Saturday, NDTV reported citing the police. The accident took place when the children were come back home from school.
The van was carrying 12 students. The remaining eight children were rescued by people working in nearby fields.
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. “Very sad to learn of the news from Sangrur, where we lost 4 children because their school van caught fire,” Singh tweeted. “Injured have been rushed to the hospital. DC [deputy commissioner] & SSP [senior superintendent of police] Sangrur are on the spot & I have ordered a magisterial enquiry. Guilty will be strictly punished.”
Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said a police team has been sent to the accident spot. “The CM [chief minister] has already announced a magisterial probe and based on the outcome of the probe even action could taken against the school administration,” he told The Tribune. “The driver is absconding and a hunt has been launched for him. Preliminary reports suggest that three of the children belong to one family. The administration has been taking action against erring school van operators in the past and we will continue doing so.”