Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Eleven persons among the 12 deceased who lost their lives in the tragic road mishap that reportedly took place near Digapahandi in Ganjam district are the family members and relatives of former Berhampur MP Renubala Pradhan.

A pal of gloom has descended in Digapahandi area over the tragic accident. The family members and the relatives of the deceased are crestfallen after losing their near and dear ones.

As per reports, the accident happened when an OSRTC bus and a private bus collided head-on near Digapahandi. While the OSRTC bus was en-route Bhubaneswar from Gudari, Rayagada, the private bus was returning from Berhampur, carrying a marriage party of around 25 passengers from Khandadeuli village in the district.

“Eleven members of my family have lost their lives in the tragic road mishap. My brother-in-law, niece and son-in-law are among those who have passed away,” said a crestfallen Ranubala.

“We were overjoyed during the marriage yesterday. We had thought that all of them would return. However, everything was finished at midnight,” she added.

“We heard the news about the tragic incident at around 12.30 am. We rushed to the spot immediately. However, to our utter shock we found the bodies of our family members piled on the spot,” said a family member of the deceased.

Former MLA Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik said that he is deeply saddened by the tragic accident.

“We have never seen an incident of this magnitude. Our former MP Renubala Pradhan and other persons have suffered an irreparable loss in the accident. The district administration and police forces have tried their best to carry out the rescue operation and provide medical facilities to the injured. I pray before Lord Jagannath to give courage to the bereaved family members,” said Chyau Patnaik.

Notably, eight of the passengers were also severely injured in the accident. They are currently undergoing treatment at MKCG Medical College and Hospital.