At least 12 people were killed and 49 have suffered injuries after a bus fell into the Mahanadi riverbed from a bridge near Jagatpur in Cuttack, Odisha on Tuesday evening. It was a private bus which was on its way to Cuttack from Talcher after which it crashed into the railing of the bridge and plunged 30 feet down into the dry riverbed, police said.
According to eyewitnesses, the driver of the bus lost control when a buffalo came in front of it. The driver swerved the bus to save the animal and thus the accident happened, a police officer added. However, following the accident, the Buffalo also died and its body was recovered by the police.
Cuttack Police, along with fire brigade personnel and the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), immediately rushed to the accident site to rescue the trapped passengers.
“All the passengers trapped inside the bus have been rescued and they were taken to the SCB Medical College and Hospital for treatment,” said Chief Fire Officer Sukanta Sethi.
Emergency officer of SCB Medical College and Hospital B N Maharana stated that they have received 12 bodies. Among the deceased nine were men and three women.
“Forty-nine people were undergoing treatment at the hospital”, Maharana added.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed grief at the death of the passengers in the accident. The Chief Minister has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and free treatment to the injured.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed sorrow over the tragic accident:
(With agency inputs)