Karnataka: School bus and tractor collide in Jamkhandi killing 4 children, injuring 22 others

The mishap happened when the school bus tried to overtake a heavy vehicle and hit the tractor, which was coming in the opposite direction.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Jan 29, 2024 | 1:05 PMUpdatedJan 29, 2024 | 1:48 PM

Jamkhandi school bus accident

In a tragic accident, a school bus — returning after the conclusion of a school’s annual day festivities — collided with a tractor near Alagur village in Jamkhandi taluk of Bagalkot district, Karnataka, on the night of Sunday, 28 January, and claimed the lives of four students.

The harrowing tragedy — which was followed by a day of joy — also left 22 others with varying degrees of injuries.

The victims — identified as Swetha Patil (16), Sagar Kadkol (17), Govind Jambagi (13), and Basavaraj Kotagi (17) — were on their way back to Kavatagi village when the accident occurred.

The injured students are under urgent medical care at the Taluka Hospital in Jamkhandi and a few have been shifted to Vijayapura. The students belong to Sri Vardhaman Mahaveer Educational Society in Alagur village.

A case has been registered by the Jamkhandi Rural Police Station.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh to the kins of the deceased students and ₹50,000 to the injured.

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The accident

A preliminary investigation by the police revealed that the school bus driver was at fault.

Jamkhandi Police Station Circle Inspector (CI) Mallappa Maddi told South First, “The incident occurred while school children, along with their families, were returning to their hometown after attending the school gathering. There were around 35 to 40 people on the school bus.”

“The mishap happened when the school bus tried to overtake a heavy vehicle and hit a tractor, which was coming in the opposite direction. Prima facie, it is the fault of the school bus driver. He is also injured and is being treated at the hospital,” detailed Maddi.

Bagalkot Deputy Commissioner KM Janaki, Zilla Parishad CEO Shashidhar Kurer and Superintendent of Police (SP) Amarnath Reddy visited the taluka hospital and took stock of the situation. Jamkhandi MLA Jagadish Gudgunti also enquired about the health of the injured and condoled the demise of four students.

SP Amarnath Reddy told reporters, “The accident occurred between 11:30 pm to 12 midnight. Four were killed and 22 were injured in the mishap. The injured have been rushed to the taluka hospital in Jamkhandi.”

“A few of the injured have been moved to Vijayapura. The school bus was heading to Kavatagi village from Alagur when the accident occurred. We are probing the incident and action will be taken against the culprits,” stated Reddy.