Fazilka: Thirteen teachers were killed when the vehicle in which they were travelling to school collided with a truck due to dense fog today near Chandmeri toll plaza on Fazilka-Jalalabad road, police said.
The driver of the vehicle carrying the teachers also succumbed to injuries later, taking the toll to 14, they said.
Police said the teachers, including five women, were on their way to school when the mishap was caused due to poor visibility, adding that the deceased were in the age group of 35 to 40 years.
Eight of the victims belonged to Fazilka and five were from Abohar, police said.
One of the teachers, who survived the accident, has been admitted to a hospital in Faridkot, they said.
The ill-fated vehicle was carrying 15 passengers, including the driver.
Expressing grief over the incident, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said that he was extremely pained to learn about the fatal mishap.
Describing the tragedy as a “huge loss” for the state, Badal said a teacher was the true guide and philosopher besides being the architect, who shapes the destiny of our future generation.
He also expressed heartfelt sympathies with the family of the driver of the ill-fated vehicle.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister directed the district administration to extend all out support and cooperation to the distressed families and provide best treatment to the person injured in the accident.
Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh and AAP state convenor Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi also condoled the deaths.
Sukhbir said the loss of teachers, who chisel young minds for the future of the nation, was “irreparable” and it has not only traumatised their families, but their students and the nation as well.
He also advised all to use utmost caution while driving in the coming days when dense fog dominates during early and later hours of the day.
Amarinder asked the state government to change the school timings in order to ensure that “school teachers, students and other staff are not exposed to the risk of such accidents due to fog.” PTI
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