Staff Correspondent

22 victims cremated at native places

BIJAPUR: The toll in the accident in which a maxi-cab fell into the Krishna here on Tuesday has been put at 29. While 22 victims were cremated in their native places in Koppal district on Wednesday, seven bodies are yet to be traced.

After thorough verification, the police on Wednesday said the number of passengers in the maxi-cab was 35, and all but six died.

According to police, the bodies of Kashinath Shekarappa Shettar (35) of Bahadurbandi village near Koppal; his three children Sharanappa (10), Shilpa (8) and Sujatha (7); Earanna Karadkal; his son Sharanappa (25); and Puja Shivkumar Karadakal (10), all three from Agalkera in Koppal taluk of Koppal district, are yet to be traced.

Bagalkot Superintendent of Police Ramesh Harihar told The Hindu that search operations were being carried out with help of boatmen and divers, but the discharge of water from the Alamatti Dam had made their task difficult.

However, sources in the dam maintenance wing refused to give much credence to the claim as the discharge was just 2,400 cusecs. There was the possibility that bodies had been washed away soon after the vehicle fell from the bridge on National Highway 13 as water discharge from the dam at that time was considerably high at 16,000 cusecs. The discharge from the dam was stopped only an hour after the accident, they added.