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Five kids die as tree falls on running school bus in Kerala

Kothamangalam: In an unfortunate incident, five children were killed and seven others injured after a tree fell on the school bus they were travelling in at Kuthukuzhi near Kothamangalam on Friday evening.

The deceased have been identified as Johan Jeggy (13), Gauri Punnackal (10), A. Krishnendu (5), Amin Jabir (8) and Eza Sara Eldho (10). They were students of Vidya Vikas School, Karukadom in Kothamangalam.

The students were returning home from school when the tragedy struck the ill-fated school bus, carrying 15 students, around 4.30 pm.

The tree fell onto the bus while it was passing by Mar Baselios Institute of Technology and Science (MBITS) at Nellimattom.

The injured have been hospitalised in Kothamangalam and are said to be out of danger. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, ministers PK Abdu Rabb and Anoop Jacob have condoled the loss of lives.

The CM also announced financial aid of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the deceased children. On a Facebook post, Chandy added that the treatment expenses of the injured children will be borne by the government.

The bodies of the deceased children were handed over to families in the night doing away with postmortem as per instructions from the government. It was reported earlier that the tree, which caused the accident, was in a precarious condition and that it could cause a mishap. Despite several appeals by locals, no action was taken.

Responding to the tragic news, Member of Legislative Assembly from Kothamangalam Dr TU Kuruvilla criticised the concerning authorities for paying no heed to complains registered by the locals regarding the dangers posed by the huge tree which was standing by the road.