The children were killed in Uttar Pradesh's Mau district when a passenger train smashed into their van at the crossing Thursday morning.

In a statement in the Lok Sabha on the accident, Prabhu said "negligent driving by the driver" was to be blamed for the accident.

The accident took place Thursday morning near Khutahar village when the Tamsa passenger train rammed into the school van which was carrying around 25 children.

Twenty children were injured and eight of them, who are seriously hurt, were rushed to Varanasi for treatment.

Officials said the driver of the school van was listening to songs wearing his ear plugs and, therefore, could not hear the approaching train.

The school van was totally wrecked in the accident. The minister also said that there was poor visibility due to morning fog.

He said a compensation of Rs.two lakh would be given to the next of kin of each of the deceased, lakh to those grievously injured and Rs.20,000 to those with minor injuries.

He said the government is trying to find ways to prevent such accidents.

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