Deogarh: In a tragic incident, at least 27 people were killed when a bus carrying 38 Bharati Gananatya artistes fell into a 300-ft gorge off the Gailo ghat in Deogarh district on Sunday evening.
Twenty seven bodies were recovered from the accident site, while 11 persons were seriously injured. Out of the injured, 6 have been shifted to Burla Hospital.
Reports said the mishap occurred when the ill fated bus carrying 38 persons of the opera party including eight women and a child was going towards Sohela in Bargarh from Deogarh.
The reports about the accident first reached at around 6.30 pm.
Odisha DGP KB Singh said a team of ODRAF personnel has been rushed to the spot to help in the rescue work.
“If need arises, one more team of ODRAF personnel will be deployed,” Singh added.
Fire Service DG Binay Behera said, “Eight teams of fire personnel have been deployed to undertake rescue operations and Sambalpur Deputy Fire officer is supervising the work.”
Deogarh ASP Debiprasad Das said, “The rescue work is getting hampered as the spot is around one km from the road and poor visibility adds to the woes.”
Das added, “Probably the driver of the bus failed to negotiate with the steep curve leading to the accident.”
Venkatraman Subudhi, an eyewitness and local resident said, “The bus has fallen into 300-ft deep gorge surrounded by jungle. Probaaly the driver did not know the road.”
He added, “The police have brought a generator to the spot for rescue work.”
Nagendra pradhan, Sambalpur MP, said, “I have been informed by the Collector that the ill-fated bus was carrying the opera party who was going to participate Laimura jatra in Sohela.”
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed sadness over the bus accident and directed officials to speed up the rescue operations. Similarly, Odisha Congress chief Prasad Harichandan and BJP president Basant Panda also exressed grief over the tragedy.