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8 killed, 40 injured as bus falls into ditch in Odisha

Some survivors claimed that just before the accident, they heard the driver shouting that the brakes had failed.

Eight people, including six women, were killed and around 40 injured when a passenger bus skidded off and toppled down from a small bridge at the Taptapani ghat road in Odisha’s Ganjam district in the early hours of Wednesday.

The bus was travelling to Berhampur from Tikri in Rayagada district. At 3.30 a.m., while negotiating a turn, the bus went off the bridge on a stream near Palukhalo and fell into a 30 feet ditch. It overturned while hitting the hard ground.

Some survivors claimed that just before the accident, they heard the driver shouting that the brakes had failed. According to Ganjam District Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange, low visibility due to dense fog was also a reason behind this accident.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed deep grief over the loss of lives in the accident and announced an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh each to next of the kin of the deceased.

Around 27 seriously injured were admitted in the MKCG medical college and hospital, while those with minor injuries were discharged after first aid.

“Superintendent engineer of the National Highways Authority of India, posted in Berhampur, has been directed to make a survey of the accident spot and adjoining areas to ascertain the possibility of any engineering defect in road construction in the region that leads to accidents. He will file a report in two days”, said the Collector.

On receiving information, police and fire service personnel rushed to the spot. Four fire brigade teams from Berhampur, Digaphandi, Sanakhemundi and Mohana were involved in the rescue operation. Gas cutters were used to take out the last injured woman who was stuck inside the bus for over four hours. The place where the bus fell was surrounded by water and was in hilly forest terrain, which hampered the rescue operation.

The deceased included Sanghamitra Mohapatra (40) and her 12-year-old daughter Anwesha Mohapatra from Rayagada town. They were on their way to Bhubaneswar via Berhampur to attend a family feast. Karishma Nayak (35), a teacher posted in Rayagada district met her last while returning to her home in Kavisuryanagar block of Ganjam district. A 13- member family group from Potabagada village of Ganjam district was returning back from Rayagada in the bus. Jhunu Behera (35) of this group died, while the rest were injured. The other women killed were Subasini Moharana (34) of Ganjam district and Bidyut Nayak (46) of Rayagada district. The two men who died were Sunil Nayak (32) and Ramesh Behera (49) of Ganjam district.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 7:00:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/7-killed-40-injured-as-bus-falls-into-ditch-in-odishas-ganjam-district/article30681257.ece

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