45 die after bus crashes into canal in Sidhi, MP

Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 February 2021 (18:31 IST)
Police report that the carrying more than 50 passengers plunged off a bridge in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. Officials said that rescuers have recovered 45 bodies.
At least 45 people were killed when a bus crashed into a canal in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, officials said on Tuesday.
District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Choudhary said six people were rescued after the accident, and that the bus was designed to hold 34. The bus was carrying more than 50 passengers. 
 
Rescuers recovered 40 bodies and were searching for other passengers. Officials stopped the water supply to the canal to aid the rescue effort, while two cranes pulled the bus out, reports said. 
 
Local media reported the bus was completely submerged, and images showed officials in orange life jackets using rescue boats to look for survivors.
 
According to media reports, seven people, including the driver, managed to swim to safety.
 
Families to receive compensation
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences to families of the victims and called the accident ''horrific.''
 
His office also tweeted that the families of those killed would receive 200,000 rupees (€2,264) ($2,750) while those who were seriously injured would receive 50,000 rupees.
 
"The entire state is standing with those affected," chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in a video message.
 
India is known to have some of the world's deadliest roads, with over 150,000 people killed in accidents in 2019, according to a government report. 

Overloading was the cause of the accident

The bus had a capacity of 32 passengers but was carrying about 60 passengers at the time of the incident, sources said. The bus driver is said to have survived.
 
On getting the information, police and administration staff rushed to the accident spot, which is about 80 kilometers away from Sidhi district headquarters, Mr Jain said.
 
Meanwhile, police sources said that this canal attached to the Bansagar dam reservoir was filled with more than 20 feet of water. After the accident, the work of releasing water from the dam reservoir, located about 40 km away, was stopped.
 
Due to this, the water level of the canal reduced expediting the relief and rescue work.Sources said that the bus had left from Sidhi to Satna early this morning.
 
As there was a traffic jam in the Chuhiya Valley at around 0800 hrs in the morning, the bus took another route to reach Satna.
 
This route was adjacent to the canal and the suddenly the driver lost control over the wheels and it nose-dived into the canal.
 
The bus was reportedly carrying passengers from Sidhi and nearby districts. Many of them were going to appear in railway and nursing examination conducted in Satna district along with their parents.Identification of the dead is on, the sources said.(AP, AFP)