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Bus touches low-hanging power cable in Odisha, 10 killed

A passenger bus comes into contact with a power cable in Ganjam district of Odisha on February 9, 2020.

A passenger bus comes into contact with a power cable in Ganjam district of Odisha on February 9, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Many passengers sustained high voltage shocks.

Ten persons, including five women, were electrocuted to death and more than 25 were injured when the bus in which they were travelling in came in contact with a low-hanging 11KV power transmission cable at Mendarajpur under the Golanthara police station area of Odisha’s Ganjam district on Sunday.

Around 45 passengers in the bus were travelling from Dankalpadu village to Chikarada to attend a pre-wedding function. The groom was travelling in a car. While proceeding on the Golanthara-Tulu road, the metal goods carriage on the top of the AC sleeper bus came into contact with the cable hanging on a side of the narrow village road near Mendarajpur. According to Chief Fire Officer, southern range, Sukant Sethi, the passengers received high voltage shock.

Police and fire officials as well as Ganjam collector, Vijay Amrusta Kulange and Berhampur SP Pinak Mishra rushed to the spot to monitor the rescue operation. All injured were first shifted to MKCG medical college and hospital in Berhampur. Till Sunday evening, nine patients were under treatment in hospital, while nine others with severe burn injuries were shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack. A 11-year-old boy died on the way to Berhampur, increasing the death toll to 10.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed condolences and announced an ex gratia of ₹2 lakh to the next of kin of each of the deceased. He announced that all the injured would receive free treatment.

Transport Minister Padmanabh Behera ordered an enquiry assuring that strict action would be taken against the persons found guilty. He blamed the cable and the driver for the accident. The residents of Mendarajpur alleged that no action had been taken despite their repeated complains about the cable. 

Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) Sourabh Garg sought a report from SOUTHCO. The Collector instituted an enquiry by a special team that will include officials of SOUTHCO, the police and the transport department. The police also lodged a case and started investigation.

In a similar incident, 70 picnickers from Baripada had a narrow escape when the top of their bus touched an 11KV power cable at Baliapal in Balasore district. All the injured were admitted to the Baliapal hospital. They were travelling to the Dagara beach in Balasore district.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 4:08:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bus-touches-low-hanging-power-cable-in-odisha-10-killed/article30775847.ece

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