Toronto, March 14
Five Indian students have been killed in a horrific road accident in Canada’s Ontario province, the second major tragedy in the country since January.
The Canadian Press reported that an accident between a passenger van and a tractor-trailer occurred on Saturday on Highway 401 in the southern Ontario city of Quinte West.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Quinte West said in a statement that Harpreet Singh, 24, Jaspinder Singh, 21, Karanpal Singh, 21, Mohit Chauhan, 23 and Pawan Kumar, 23, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said they were all students from the Greater Toronto and Montreal areas.
India’s High Commissioner to Canada Ajay Bisaria termed the incident a “heartbreaking tragedy” and said the Indian mission in Toronto is in touch with friends of the victims for necessary assistance.
“Shocking tragedy in Canada: 5 Indian students died in an auto accident near Toronto on Saturday. Two others are in hospital. Deepest condolences to the families of the victims. @IndiainToronto Contacts of friends of victims for assistance I have,” he said on Twitter.
Heartbreaking tragedy in Canada: 5 Indian students died in an auto accident near Toronto on Saturday. Two others are in the hospital. Deepest condolences to the families of the victims. @IndiainToronto The team in touch with the friends of the victims for assistance. @MEAIndia
— Ajay Bisaria (@Ajaybis) 14 March 2022
According to reports, the students were traveling west in a passenger van on Highway 401 on Saturday morning when they (local time) collided with a tractor trailer at around 3:45 pm.
Two other passengers, who were seriously injured after the accident, were taken to a nearby hospital, police said, adding that an investigation into the accident was on, though no charges were filed.
CTV News reported that the driver of the tractor-trailer was not hurt.
“There is tragedy. No one wants to answer that call for service, but we are there, we are working,” said OPP constable Maggie Pickett on Saturday.
The report said that following the accident, lanes on the west side of the highway between Wallbridge Loyalist Road and Glen Miller Road were closed for investigation for approximately 10 hours.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday condoled the death of five Indian students.
“Deeply mourning the demise of 5 Indian students in Canada. Condolences to their families. Pray for the recovery of the injured. @IndiainToronto will provide all necessary help and support,” Jaishankar tweeted.
Deeply saddened by the demise of 5 Indian students in Canada. Condolences to their families. Pray for the recovery of the injured. @IndiainToronto Will provide all necessary help and support. https://t.co/MAkMz0uwJ7
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) 14 March 2022
Every year thousands of Indian students go to Canada for higher education.
The number of Indian students attending Canadian universities increased from 76,075 in 2016 to 1,72,625 in 2018, according to a report published last year quoting Canada’s Bureau of International Education.
The road accident involving Indian citizens in Canada is the second tragic incident in three months.
In January, four Indians, including an infant, were found dead near the Canada-US border in Manitoba. According to Canadian officials, the family from Gujarat died due to exposure to extreme cold. PTI