Bhubaneswar: At least five school students, including three girls, were killed and four others seriously injured when a speeding truck ran over them near their school on National Highway (NH)-16 in Odisha's Bhadrak district on Thursday, an official said.
The accident occurred near Rahanja village under Bhadrak Rural police station when the children - studying in class 9 - were returning home from Ranitel High School.
As the nine students were crossing the highway, they were hit by the truck, killing four at the spot. Another succumbed to injuries at the Bhadrak District Headquarters Hospital, Bhadrak district Collector Gyana Das said.
"Five students have died in the accident. Three of them are girls. Four others are in hospital," Das told PTI.
The deceased students belonged to Rahanja and Asura villages under Bhadrak rural police station.
Of the injured, one was shifted to SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack, while the other three were admitted at the district headquarters hospital in a critical condition, he said.
Angry locals set fire to the truck which hit the children and put up a road blockade demanding action against the culprits and compensation to the victims' families, Bhadrak SP Battula Gangadhar said.
Hundreds of vehicles were stranded near the accident site on the highway, connecting Chennai and Kolkata.
The driver and cleaner of the truck fled after the accident.
Gangadhar said policemen were sent to the spot and the district administration has been negotiating with the people.
Odisha Transport Minister Nrusingha Sahu said the department will undertake an inquiry into the accident and how it happened near the school.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed grief over the tragedy and conveyed his sympathy to the bereaved families.
He announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased.
"The injured students will be given free treatment," Patnaik said.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Jul 19, 2018 20:44:13 IST