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Cry, Punjab, cry 

Bathinda: With fog enveloping the region, 10 persons were killed, eight of them students on their way to various colleges and coaching centres in Bathinda, in two accidents on a bridge over the Bathinda-Chandigarh highway this morning. Their bus having met with an accident, passengers were standing at the roadside when they were run over by a cement mixture truck, which first hit a Tata Sumo. The truck driver fled. (Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)The students who died on the spot were identified as Rafi Mohammad (23) of Dyalpura Mirza, Vinod Kumar (18), Shikha (17), Khushbir Kaur (20), Jaspreet Kaur (18) and Nancy (19) of Rampura Phul; Ishwar (19) of Bhucho Mandi and Manpreet Kaur (19) of Lehra Khana village. Lovepreet Kaur (25), who belonged to Rampur and worked with the Food and Supplies Department, was killed too. Four of the injured were admitted to the Civil Hospital and Adesh Medical College here. On the other side of the road on the bridge, a PRTC bus, that rammed into a Tata pick-up standing in the middle of the road after it broke down, was hit by a private bus from the rear, leading to a pile-up involving three or more cars. Mandeep Kaur, a teacher from Bathinda, was killed and 12 persons were injured.Survivor Prince of Rampura and a student of DAV College, Bathinda, said he saved himself by jumping to the other side of the road. He suffered minor injuries. Another eyewitness Kewal Singh said, “Just as we were asking commuters to slow down owing to the pile-up, a truck rammed into a Tata Sumo and then people standing along the road.”The bodies crushed, the victims’ kin could recognise them only from their clothes and belongings.Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal visited the injured and announced Rs 1 lakh each for the next of kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 for the injured. Rampura MLA Gurpreet Singh Kangar also announced an ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 25,000 for the injured.Gurmeet Singh, SP-City, said a case under Section 304 of the IPC had been registered against the truck driver. The truck belonged to Patel Constructions.Schools shut for 3 daysThe Punjab Government has closed all schools — government and private— for three days till November 11. The order will be applicable to primary, middle, high and senior secondary schools. TNS

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