LUCKNOW -- A truck loaded with sand collided with a school bus early Thursday, killing at least 24 young children in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, police said.
At least two dozen other children were injured in the collision when the speeding truck collided head-on with the bus, said Javeed Ahmed, the state's top police official.
The children, between the ages of 3 and 12, were studying at a school in the town of Etah.
Another police officer, Daljeet Chaudhry, said visibility was low due to dense fog.
Police officer Parasuram Singh said the truck driver suffered serious injuries in his legs, which were amputated in a hospital. He said the rescue work was over with all the children taken out of the bus wreckage.
The area is nearly 270 kilometers (170 miles) southeast of New Delhi.
The state's education authorities had closed all schools in the district due to a severe cold wave, and Ahmed said authorities would check why the school had stayed open.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condoled the deaths. "Anguished by the tragic accident...I share the pain of the bereaved families and condole passing away of young children," Modi tweeted.
Anguished by the tragic accident in UP's Etah district. I share the pain of the bereaved families & condole passing away of young children.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 19, 2017
"I pray that those injured in the accident in Etah recover at the earliest," he added.
I pray that those injured in the accident in Etah recover at the earliest.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 19, 2017
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