Reportedly, the accident took place at around 7:10 am. All students are said to be from Divine Public School.
Meanwhile, members of the bar council in Kushinagar criticised the district hospital for referring injured persons to other institutions without even administering first aid.
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There is little reason for the common man to be impressed by claims that there has been a decline in the number of accidents, and that several such crossings have been replaced ~ try selling that line to the folk at Kushinagar who lost their children. His condition, too, is very critical, he added.
Section 131 of the Motor Vehicles Act as well as Section 161 of the Railways Act have provisions on crossing unmanned railway lines - both put the onus on the driver of the motor vehicle to ensure that there is no train approaching.
Goyal's review came after his maiden meeting as the new Railway Minister on September 7 last year, when he directed that all unmanned crossings must be eliminated within one year. They spoke to general managers of five zonal railways - East Central, Northern, Western, North Eastern and North Central - which account for 80 per cent of level crossing-related accidents, via video-conferencing.
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President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the tragic accident.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said an inquiry had been ordered and his ministry would pay 200,000 rupees ($3,000) to the families of those killed. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the accident site and said prima facie the van driver appeared to be at fault.
In Lucknow, Bahujan Samaj Party's Mayawati questioned why the government had not acted on the issue of unmanned railway crossings. "It was an unmanned level crossing gate at Behpurva, with Gate Mitra (rail volunteer) deployed there". In addition to that, he also asked the Commissioner of Gorakhpur to conduct an investigation into the matter.
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Krishna Verma, who sustained injuries on his leg told, "We were shouting and asking driver uncle to stop the van but he did not, as he was busy talking on his phone and was not hearing us".