Five persons were killed when a bus in which they were travelling fell into the Karanja River near Dadgi village of Bhaki taluk in Bidar on Friday. In the incident, 26 passengers sustained injuries while two of them are said to be in serious condition. The injured have been shifted to the District Hospital in Bidar city and some to the Taluk Hospital in Bhalki town.

Police said the bus, belonging to the North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC), was coming to Bhalki from Basavakalyan with around 30 passengers on board. On reaching a bridge near Dadgi village, its steering wheel developed problems resulting in loss of control on part of the driver. The bus then fell off the bridge into the Karanja from a height of 40-feet.

On learning about the incident, the police rushed to the spot and undertook rescue operations. A few village people also assisted the police in their efforts.

Deputy Commissioner Harsh Gupta and Superintendent of Police N. Satish Kumar visited the spot and spoke to those who were injured at the Bhalki hospital.

The Bhalki district MLA, Ishwar Khandre, who was on his way to Hyderabad, returned to Bidar and visited the District Hospital. He later went to Bhalki and consoled the bereaved family members. Mr. Khandre told The Hindu that he would urge the State Government to provide suitable compensation to the bereaved families.

The police identified the deceased as Raghunath Chimma (40), bus driver and resident of Gortha village in Basavakalayan taluk; Balaji (25), a resident of Madanur village in Aurad taluk; Sharanappa (61), a resident of Muchalamb village in Basavkalayan; Vishwanath (40), a resident of Huchha village in Bhalki taluk, and Khuddus Ahmed (25), a resident of Basavakalyan taluk.

The police said that Balaji died on the spot while three others, except Ahmed, died at the Taluk Hospital in Bhalki as they did not respond to treatment. Both Balaji and Vishwanath were Home Guards and were returning from Basavakalyan after taking part in security arrangements provided for the immersion of Ganesha idols on Thursday. Ahmed died while he was being taken to a hospital in Solapur.

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