Kushinagar, April 26: The school children travelling in a van that crashed into a speeding train here today, leading to the death of 13 of them, had repeatedly shouted asking the driver of their vehicle to stop but the man did not listen as he was busy on the phone, a nine-year-old, who survived the accident said.

"We kept shouting urging uncle (driver) to stop, but he did not do so, as he was very busy on phone and was unable to listen us," Krishna Verma said.

Verma received a leg injury, but was still was lucky enough to survive the deadly collision which many of his friends did not. His sister Roshni too is in a critical condition. Both of them are admitted in BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur.

"Krishna had got leg injury and is out of danger, but the other three children received head injury and are in critical condition," Dr Ganesh Kumar, principal of BRD Medical College said.

Kumar said that even the driver had received multiple fractures as well as a head injury. His condition is very critical, he added.

Earlier, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who had rushed to Kushinagar following the news of the accident, had also told reporters that the van driver appeared to be at fault.

"He is said to have earphones on... all facts will be known in the inquiry headed by the Gorakhpur Commissioner," he said.

Some of the eye witnesses had also commented that onlookers had tried to stop the driver from heading towards the unmanned railway crossing but he paid no attention to them.

Thirteen children on their way to the Divine Public School were killed today when their van collided with the Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train at around 7 am, leaving blood-splattered bodies, water bottles and school bags strewn around.

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