Published: 15th March 2022
Canada road accident: Two Indian students out of danger, one escaped unhurt
Indian students attending Canadian universities rose from 76,075 in 2016 to 1,72,625 in 2018, an increase of 127 per cent, according to the Canadian Bureau for International Education
Two Indian students, who were injured in an accident in Canada, are out of danger and another one had a lucky escape, India's envoy in Toronto informed in an update on the horrific road crash, news agency PTI reported.
Five Indian students were killed in a road accident in Canada's Ontario province on March 12. The accident between a passenger van and a tractor-trailer took place on Saturday on Highway 401 in the Quinte West city in Southern Ontario. India's High Commissioner in Canada, Ajay Bisaria, in an update on the accident, said that two of the injured persons are still in hospital while another student escaped unhurt.
"Update on a tragic accident in which 5 Indians were killed near Toronto on Sat: two injured still in hospital, mercifully out of danger. One other student in the van carrying 8 persons escaped unhurt. @IndiainToronto team is in touch with friends/family for all help. @MEAIndia," Bisaria tweeted on Monday.
Harpreet Singh, 24; Jaspinder Singh, 21; Karanpal Singh, 21; Mohit Chouhan, 23 and Pawan Kumar, 23 were pronounced dead at the scene. They all studied in the Montreal or Greater Toronto areas, GlobalNews reported. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, on March 14, mourned the death of the five Indian students and said the Indian mission in Toronto will provide all necessary support and assistance.
A spokesman from Canada College, a Montreal school that caters to international students, said at least three of those who died and one of the two injured survivors studied at the school. John David Couturier said the school administration is devastated by the loss, is scrambling to support students and is making arrangements to send the victims' bodies back to India, the report said.
"We're all in a state of shock," the spokesman said and added, "I can only imagine the families in India, they're so far away, and now there are two students in the hospital that don't have their families here." Couturier said most of the victims associated with the school had been studying business administration.
Dr Shivendra Dwivedi, who heads an organisation called Canada India Global Forum, said the community is shaken by the loss. "We're very sad with this tragedy, and we feel very, very bad for the families and the students that lost their lives," he said. "It's a horrible tragedy, and I think the community is grieving," Dwivedi said, his group was mobilising resources to provide grief counselling for the victims' friends in Canada.
While he did not know the victims personally, he said many Indian students who come to Canada to attend private colleges in the hopes of gaining permanent residency are young and far from their support systems. "They're doing it because they want a chance to come to Canada. Really hard-working, very dedicated students trying to make a better life for themselves," he said.
He said that his group is also working with officials in Toronto and Ottawa to ensure the wishes of the families in India are carried out. Every year, thousands of Indian students visit Canada for higher education. The number of Indian students attending Canadian universities rose from 76,075 in 2016 to 1,72,625 in 2018, an increase of 127 per cent, according to the Canadian Bureau for International Education.
The road accident is the second tragic incident involving Indian nationals in Canada in three months. In January, four Indians, including an infant, were found dead near the Canada-US border in Manitoba. According to Canadian authorities, the family from Gujarat died due to exposure to extreme cold.