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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Three persons were killed and nine others were injured in a collision between a bus and truck on National Highway-16 at Belapada chhak under Balugaon Police limits in Khordha in the wee hours of Saturday.

According to sources, the mishap took place when a bus with 19 picnickers on board was returning from Maa Tarini shrine at Ghatagaon in Keonjhar. A truck slammed it from behind killing two on the spot and another later at the hospital.

Following the accident, the injured were immediately rushed to the Balugaon hospital. However, seven of them were later shifted to Berhampur medical after their health turned critical.

Sources said, all the tourists belonged to the Gopalpur area of Ganjam district and they had gone to Ghatagaon to offer prayers at Maa Tarini shrine.

“We had stopped our bus here to relieve ourselves when a speeding truck hit us from behind sending the bus into the roadside field. We had gone to Ghatagaon for a picnic,” said Sunil Kumar Sahu, an injured passenger.

While the cause of the mishap is suspected to be stopping on the National Highway, as per the picnickers, a foggy night could have impaired the visibility of the trucker as well.

A probe has been launched by the Police in this connection.

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