Three schoolchildren drowned near Ricchoda village in Shajapur district of Madhya Pradesh on Friday (October 18) when their school van, packed beyond capacity, fell into an open well, the police said.
The deceased were identified as Divya and Hardik who studied in Lower KG, and Ayush, who studied in Class I. All the three kids were studying in the private A Academy Middle School, said Sub Divisional Officer of Police Umrao Singh Maravi.
Eighteen other children who were in the van — a Maruti Omni — were rescued by villagers and rushed to a hospital, Maravi told PTI.
The incident took place when the children were going back home after school when the driver while reversing the van, misjudged and drove it into an open well in front of the school, said district superintendent of police Panka Shrivastava.
A search is on for the driver as he jumped off before the vehicle plunged into the uncovered but fenced with the barbed wire well and fled, the SP said.
The van broke through the 25 feet deep wired, almost full to the brim well and slowly slipped in as children were trapped inside, he said.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath mourned the deaths, terming the incident as “very unfortunate”.
“My condolences are with the parents of the kids who died. The (surviving) kids should be treated till they recover fully….The incident will be investigated thoroughly, the
guilty will be punished and dealt with severely,” he tweeted.
घायल बच्चों का समुचित इलाज हो।
पीड़ित परिवारो के साथ इस दुःख की घड़ी में खड़ी है सरकार , हर संभव मदद के निर्देश।
घटना की जाँच हो , दोषियों को बख्शा नहीं जाये , उन पर कड़ी कार्यवाही हो।
— Office Of Kamal Nath (@OfficeOfKNath) October 18, 2019
(With inputs from agencies)