Skip to main content

12 schoolchildren die in collision as India's road woes continue

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
March 4, 2013 -- Updated 1047 GMT (1847 HKT)
India has an appalling record when it comes to road deaths, according to government figures. (File image)
India has an appalling record when it comes to road deaths, according to government figures. (File image)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Deadly wreck injures 10 in Punjab state
  • The bus driver was also killed in morning crash
  • India has an appalling road safety record, with almost one accident a minute

Delhi, India (CNN) -- At least 12 schoolchildren were killed when their bus collided head-on with a truck in northern India Monday.

The wreck, which left 10 others injured, occurred in Jalandhar district, Punjab state, police superintendent Yurinder Singh Hayer told CNN.

The driver of the school bus was also killed in the crash, which happened at around 8 a.m. local time, according to police.

Hayer said the bus had some two dozen schoolchildren on board.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident.

India has an appalling record when it comes to road traffic deaths. In 2011, more than 142,000 people were killed in about 490,000 road crashes, according to the country's transport and highways ministry.

This equates to almost one accident per minute and one death every four minutes on India roads -- making it a bigger killer than HIV/AIDS and other diseases, according to the World Health Organization.

During a recent road safety campaign, the ministry said many of these incidents were due to drink driving, a scourge it said needed to eliminated by spreading awareness and stringent enforcement measures. It added that state governments have been requested to remove liquor shops from the side of highways.

Experts warn the Indian government has much to do in the fight to control the number of road deaths and encouraged it to draw on the experiences of others.

"Countries which have made progress have done so with political will at the highest levels of government and a sustained focus on what works," Dr. Etienne Krug, director of violence and injury prevention at the WHO, told the Times of India in December.

"Measures include identifying a lead agency for road safety; developing a comprehensive road safety strategy; and implementing concrete measures related to roads, vehicles and people's behavior.

"Responding to emergencies following a crash and ensuring justice for victims and their families are also key."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Brazil's oldest foe secures its place in the World Cup final for the first time in more than two decades after defeating the Netherlands on penalties.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Israel has deployed its Iron Dome defense system to halt incoming rockets. Here's how it works.
A high speed train leaves Beijing south railway station on August 11, 2011.
How Beijing built the world's largest high-speed rail network in less than a decade.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
CNN's Becky Anderson looks at how practicing underwater is the perfect way to prepare for spacewalks.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 0917 GMT (1717 HKT)
An emotional Brazil fan reacts after being defeated by Germany 7-1 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between Brazil and Germany at Estadio Mineirao on July 8, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Spectacular Germany outplays Brazil to reach the World Cup final with a 7-1 win over the hosts.
Even those who aren't in the line of fire feel the effects of the chaos that has engulfed Iraq since extremists attacked.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 0641 GMT (1441 HKT)
CNN's Jim Bittermann takes a look at a family who found the remains of their great- grandfather 100 years later.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 0008 GMT (0808 HKT)
Israelis and Palestinians have entered another yet violent cycle of reaction and counterreaction. Here are five things to keep in mind.
July 7, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Traveling to the U.S.? You could be delayed if your electronic device has a dead battery.
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 2157 GMT (0557 HKT)
With one hand, Zahra Hassan clutches a purse that matches her red blouse and skirt trimmed in blue. In the other, she holds an AK-47.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT