At least five picnickers were seriously injured after the bus they were travelling in collided with two trucks in a series of mishaps at Bhejia Square under Mahabirod police limits in Dhenkanal on Thursday morning.
As per reports, the bus was on its way to Badchana in Jajpur after a picnic at Sambalpur. The bus reportedly hit a Hyva truck from behind at Bhejia Square following which another truck hit the bus from behind.
All the injured including the drivers of the bus and the truck were shifted to Talcher hospital for treatment. Five of them are stated to be critical.
Prima facie, it appeared that the accident was caused by dense fog in the area, because of which the drivers could not spot the vehicles ahead.
It is pertinent to mention here that, fog had caused another such mishap near Nischintakoili in Cuttack on Wednesday where a bus hit a truck from the front killing three persons and injuring more than 40.
Given the spurt in road mishaps involving vehicles carrying picnickers, the Commerce and Transport Department of Odisha has recently issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for vehicles going to picnic and tourist spots.
As per the SOPs, the owners of buses and other vehicles hired for transporting people to tourist or picnic spots must have a special permit from the concerned RTO before engaging their vehicles for such trips. The concerned authority will permit those vehicles that have fitness certificates.
Among other rules, if a driver of a vehicle transporting tourists or picnickers is found to be under the influence of alcohol, he will be immediately arrested and his driving license will be impounded. The owner will arrange an alternative driver for the continuation of the trip.