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29 die after bus plunges into drain from Yamuna Expressway

50 passengers were travelling in the UPSRTC bus from Lucknow to Delhi; Adityanath orders probe

July 08, 2019 08:42 am | Updated July 09, 2019 11:12 pm IST - New Delhi:

The passenger bus that fell into the drain.

The passenger bus that fell into the drain.

Twenty-nine passengers of an Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) bus were killed and 23 sustained serious injuries when the vehicle hit a divider and fell 40 feet down into a drain between carriageways on the Yamuna Expressway.

The Janrath bus from the Awadh depot in Lucknow was going to Anand Vihar in Delhi. It was carrying 52 people, including children.

The police said they received a PCR (police control room) call at 5 a.m. about the accident at milestone number 161 on the carriageway.

A police team rushed to the spot and started the rescue operation with the help of locals and expressway staff. “I informed my seniors and soon policemen from all nearby stations arrived at the spot for the rescue operation. The injured were pulled out of the bus and rushed to local hospitals,” said a policeman, who wished not to be identified.

Driver fell asleep

Senior Superintendent of Police (Agra) Babloo Kumar said that during a preliminary inquiry it was found that the driver had fallen asleepand lost control of the vehicle. The bus got submerged in the drain flowing beneath a culvert.

Pump operator Saudaan Singh, who was sleeping under the culvert, said, “I heard a huge sound as if the bridge had collapsed. I rushed for my life. I then turned back to see the bus had fallen into the drain and heard the passengers screaming for help. I immediately called other villagers.”

A group of teenagers who were doing physical exercise for police recruitment heard the passengers’ cries and pitched in to save them.

Nihal Singh, a villager, said, “We brought out nine people from the drain and attempted to bring more, but the bus was submerged in water. Police arrived at the spot with a team of divers and the rescue operation actually began.”

Mr. Kumar said no FIR had been registered as of now as they were busy with legal formalities and helping out the grieving families.

Ashnish Mishra, conductor of the bus, said he was sitting next to driver Kripa Shanker Choudhary and didn't know what had happened all of sudden. “I came out of the bus after breaking the side glass with a bare hand. I went up and informed the Yamuna Expressway staff about the incident.”

Ravi Kumar, District Magistrate (Agra) said officials were on the job and ambulance service had been arranged for all the victims.

₹5 lakh ex gratia

The U.P. Roadways has announced an ex gratia of ₹5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.

U.P. Chief Minister Adityanath has set up a committee comprising the Transport Commissioner, the Divisional Commissioner and the IG, Agra, to investigate the accident and submit a report in 24 hours on its cause, among other things.

The Chief Minister had deputed Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma and Minister of State for Transport Swatantra Dev Singh to visit the accident site and the injured in hospitals, a government spokesperson said.

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