Sept 9 (NIA) – At least 20 people were killed and 25 others injured, 5 of them seriously, when a private bus plunged from a bridge into a 50 feet ditch in Odisha in eastern India on Friday, police said.
Many victims were women including four college students, and police said the death toll is expected to rise further as rescue officials shifted those injured to nearby state hospitals.
Preliminary reports said 14 persons died on the spot while six succumbed to injuries in hospital.
“We have received a report of about 15 deaths in the accident. The bus carrying around 50 passengers was going from Boudh to Athamallik. We have deployed several ambulances. We are also considering using air-ambulance for transporting seriously injured ones,” said Anil Samal, District Magistrate of Angul, Odisha told local reporters.
According to local media reports, the driver of the bus, which was overloaded with passengers, lost control over the vehicle and hit the bridge barricade.
An eyewitness, Arun Behera, quoted in the report said the driver was talking on the phone when a child riding a bicycle suddenly came from the opposite side. “The driver suddenly took a left turn and broke off the bridge railings,” said Behera.
Expressing shock over the tragedy, Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik directed the district administration and police officials to take immediate steps for medical treatment of the injured persons.
The chief minister directed that the injured be provided medical treatment free of cost.