Lucknow, June 11: Nine students were run over by a bus on Agra-Lucknow Expressway near Kannauj, said ANI. Of these, seven died while three were admitted to hospital in a critical condition. The incident was reported on Sunday evening. (Also read: Three AIIMS Doctors Killed in Accident on Yamuna Expressway) According to DNA, about 100 BTC students from Prabha Devi Degree College in Sant Kabir Nagar’s Khalilabad were on an educational tour to Haridwar on two buses. One of the buses developed a technical snag near Taalgram in Kannauj. Despite warning from the accompanying staff, about a dozen students got off to take a stroll when a speeding UPSRTC bus ran over them.

Seven of them died on the spot while two were admitted to the hospital in Kannauj in a serious condition. The driver and conductor of the bus managed to flee. Police said a case has been registered against them. The bodies have been sent for autopsy. Those who died have been identified as Mahesh Gupta, Vijay, Mithilesh, Vishal Kumar, Abhay, Pratap and Satish.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of those killed in the accident and Rs 50,000 each for those injured, said ANI. There has been a spate of accidents on the expressway ever since it was its inauguration in late 2016. One reason could be the fact that there is 100% more traffic on it than was projected. As per a report in The Times of India, against a projection of around 6,000 vehicles per day, the access controlled expressway received an average of 12,000 vehicles per day during the months of November and December in 2017. This was the time when no toll was charged from commuters.

A couple of months ago, a school van had collided with a train on an unmanned railway track, killing 13 children and the driver.  One of the eyewitnesses reportedly said that the location where the incident took place usually has one staff of the railways in presence. However, on Thursday, there was no one present at the junction where the bus was crossing the railway tracks. The driver of the school bus didn’t know that there was a train coming from the opposite side and tried crossing the tracks which led to the accident.

Earlier, a school bus plunged into a gorge in Himachal Pradesh, killing 29. The students, mostly from Class 5 and below of Wazir Ram Singh Pathania Memorial Public School, were on their way home when their bus fell into the gorge near Gurchal village on the Nurpur-Chamba road.