At least 20 persons, mostly theatre artists, were killed when a bus they were travelling fell off a mountain road, 15 km from district headquarter town of Deogarh in Odisha and 350 km from here on Sunday.
All victims belonged to Bharati Gananatya, a local theatre group from Bargarh district.
The bus, carrying around 38 theatre artists and support staff, was proceeding towards Sambalpur when the accident took place. Some women and children were among the deceased. .Rescue delayed
The police said the driver of the bus could not negotiate with a sharp turning along the hilly road and dashed against boundary wall. The speeding bus could not stop there and rolled down the hill. Due to darkness, the rescue operation could not be started immediately.
The police said one had to walk two km to reach the accident site and extend help to victims. Of the 38 passengers, 12 were reported to have survived.
A unit of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force was pressed into service. Power generator, cutter and water were being transported to accident site. With the help of locals, the police immediately shifted at least 8 victims, who were alive, to a nearby hospital. Condition of four was stated to be critical.