At least 21 people were killed and 25 others injured, 5 of them serious, when a private bus in which they were travelling plunged from a bridge into a 50-ft ditch at Manitri near in Odisha’s Angul district on Friday.
Angul collector Anil Samal said the accident took place when the vehicle, carrying around 50 passengers, was on the way to Athmallik from Boudh.
The injured were admitted to a hospital at Athamallik where the condition of many was stated to be critical, said Angul District Collector Anil Kumar Samal who rushed to the spot to supervise rescue operations.
Expressing shock over the mishap, Chief Minister 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,” officials said.
Meanwhile, Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the next of the kin of the deceased.
Many victims were women including four college students died in the accident. Before police and other government official reached the spot, local people had brought out injured passengers from the bus. Most accident victims were from both Boudh and Angul districts.
A witness said the driver was talking over phone when a kid riding a bicycle suddenly came from the opposite side. “The driver suddenly took a left turn and broke off the bridge railings.”
The private bus was on its way from Boudh district headquarters town to Angul. It fell off from the Old Manitri Bridge, located 10 km from Athamallick, around 110 km from Angul district headquarters town.
Transport minister Ramesh Majhi said the cause of the accident will be probed.