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37 Killed in Bus Accident in MP

37 Killed in Bus Accident in MP

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NEW DELHI, Feb 16: Thirty-seven passengers including 16 women were killed while about a dozen people were reported missing after a bus skidded off a road bridge and fell into a canal in Sidhi district in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday morning.

The bus heading from Sidhi to Satna was reportedly carrying 54 people when it fell into the canal in Shardhapathak village after the driver lost control of the vehicle.

The Sidhi district collector Ravindra Kumar Chowdhary confirmed that a 4-year old child was among the casualties. While seven people managed to swam ashore soon after the accident, the rescue team have till the evening fished out 37 bodies including 16 women and a child. The patrolling team has been sent up to 20 Kms along the canal to look for more people, officials said.

“A total of 37 bodies, including 16 women, 20 men and a child, have been fished out of the Bansagar canal until now,” he said, adding that a magisterial probe has been ordered into the accident.

The State government has cancelled the ‘grih pravesh’ or house-warming ceremony to be attended virtually by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in view of the bus accident.

The cancellation of the event, which was scheduled to start at 11 a.m. at Minto Hall in Bhopal, was announced by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan after he reached the venue.

Amit Shah was scheduled to take part via video conferencing in this programme for the beneficiaries of over one lakh houses constructed in Madhya Pradesh under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).

The chief minister condoled the deaths and announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the family of the deceased. He tweeted that teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and local authorities were conducting rescue operations at the spot. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also called the incident “horrific.”

An ex gratia of Rs 2 Lakh from PM’s National Relief Fund has been approved for the next of kin of the deceased along with Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured in the bus accident, Prime Minister’s office said on Tuesday.

Eyewitnesses had said that the bus sank completely into the water and was not visible in the morning hours. Later, the district administration stopped the release of water into the canal from the Banganga project, which brought the water level down. The bus was then spotted at some distance away from the spot where it fell into the water, eyewitnesses said.

(Manas Dasgupta)

 

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