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12 killed as Maharastra roadways bus falls into Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh

At least 12 passengers were killed after the bus, belonging to the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), fell into the Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district on July 18, 2022. Screengrab photo: Twitter/@DDNewslive

At least 12 passengers were killed after the bus, belonging to the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), fell into the Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district on July 18, 2022. Screengrab photo: Twitter/@DDNewslive

All 12 passengers aboard a bus -- on its way to Pune from Indore – were killed when the vehicle fell in the Narmada river while crossing the Khalghat Sanjay Setu in Madhya Pradesh's Dhar district on Monday.

The accident took place on Monday morning in Dhamnod – a town close to the Dhar-Khargone border and nearly 290 kilometres from the Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal -- when the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) bus was crossing the bridge.

According to Kumar Purushottam, the Khargone collector who reached the spot after the accident, the driver of the bus lost control and the vehicle broke the concrete railing at the centre of the bridge, and first landed at the base of the concrete pillar, causing an impact, before it plunged into the river that was nearly 40 feet below the bridge.

“The hard surface compounded the impact of the fall and caused severe injuries to those inside it, even before it plunged into the river,” said Mr. Purushottam.

Initial probe suggested that the speed of the vehicle was high and the driver lost control in his bid to save a two-wheeler rider, who was coming from the wrong side, said Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra.

The bridge is a part of National Highway No. 3 (Agra-Mumbai Road) and there are separate bridges for traffic going in either direction.

The strong current in the Narmada river due to incessant rains during the monsoon posed challenges to those involved in the rescue operations. Madhya Pradesh’s State Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel tweeted that all 12 bodies – including that of the driver and the conductor -- had been identified; the deceased were from Maharashtra (seven), Rajasthan (four) and Madhya Pradesh (one).

Condolence messages

President Ramnath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and the Chief Ministers of both Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra were among those who expressed grief over the incident.

“The bus tragedy in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh is saddening. My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones. Rescue work is underway and local authorities are providing all possible assistance to those affected: PM @narendramodi,” said a tweet posted by the Prime Minister’s official handle. MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan too said that he and his government were with the bereaved family members of the deceased.

Compensation ₹16 lakh each

Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel added that the family members of each deceased would get an amount of ₹16 lakh each. This includes the ₹4 lakh each announced by MP, ₹10 lakh each announced by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the ₹2 lakh ex-gratia amount announced by the Centre.

According to sources in Maharashtra, the fitness certificate of the 10-year-old bus was about to expire on July 27.

The bus was reportedly registered with the Nagpur rural Regional Transport Office on June 12, 2012, and its certificate, which implies that the vehicle is roadworthy, was about to expire on July 27, 2022, a senior RTO official said.

Maharashtra CM Mr. Shinde said that he had issued instructions to State Chief Secretary Manukumar Srivastava and Managing Director of State Transport Corporation Shekhar Channe regarding the accident and directed them forthwith to provide all necessary assistance to the rescued passengers.

The Jalgaon District Collectorate has set up a control room in the wake of the accident. The control room numbers are 09555899091, 0257-2223180 and 0257-2217193.


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Printable version | Jul 18, 2022 9:28:50 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/12-killed-as-bus-falls-into-narmada-river-in-madhya-pradesh/article65653345.ece