18 Children Killed in India After Train Hits Their School Bus

At least 18 children were killed this morning after a train hit their school bus at an unmanned crossing in the Indian state of Telangana. Twenty more children are in the hospital — 15 of them in critical condition. The bus driver was also killed.

You can see in the AP photo above that the bus was completely crushed. According to reports from The BBC and The New York Times, a passenger train hit the bus at the crossing and dragged it hundreds of feet down the tracks. Local villagers helped to rescue the children before emergency personnel arrived.

The BBC notes that "there are nearly 15,000 unmanned crossings on Indian railways and ... hundreds of people are killed on these crossings every year." No one on the train was hurt, and there will be an investigation into the incident.

At least one other related casualty was reported this morning. Telangana's Irrigation Minister T. Harish Rao said that a father died of a heart attack after learning both of his children were killed in the crash.

[Image via AP]