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Four schoolchildren killed as van catches fire in Punjab’s Sangrur; Amarinder orders probe

Four children in the age group of 10 to 12 years were charred to death when a mini van of a private school carrying students caught fire in Punjab’s Sangrur district on Saturday.

12 children were in the van at that time but eight children were taken out safely by people working in nearby fields when the van caught fire, police said.

However, four children in the age group of 10 to 12 years were burnt alive, they said. 

The accident took place on the Longowal-Sidsamachar road.

Police said it was not immediately known what caused the fire in the van. The children were returning home from school when the incident occurred, they said.

The van driver tried to open the doors of the bus after it caught fire but failed, police said.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a magisterial enquiry into the incident.

“Very sad to learn of the news from Sangrur, where we lost 4 children because their school van caught fire. Injured have been rushed to the hospital,” he tweeted.

DC & SSP Sangrur are on the spot & I have ordered a magisterial enquiry, the chief minister said. 

Guilty will be strictly punished, he added. 

(With PTI inputs)