• otv
Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Ganjam: In a tragic incident, 8 persons were killed and over 40 got injured after a bus skidded off a bridge near Palukhola in Taptapani Ghat of the district. The injured have been rushed to Digapahandi and Berhampur Hospital. Patapur Police and fire services personnel are engaged in rescue operation.

As per reports, the ill-fated bus was on its way to Berhampur from Tikiri when the accident occurred at about 3 am in the wee hours today. The name of the deceased as reported are Sanghamitra Mohapatra, Anwesha, Vidyut Nayak, L Ramesh, Subasini Moharana, Sunil Nayak, Jhunu Behera

It is yet to be confirmed whether the accident occurred due to fog, technical glitches like failure of brakes in the bus, over speeding or fault on the driver's side.

4 fire fighting teams from Mohana, Sanakhemundi, Digapahandi & Berhampur conducted the rescue operations for four hours and 40 people have been rescued who were immediately sent to hospital. A Deputy Fire Officer had monitored the rescue operation at the spot, informed State Chief Fire Officer Sukanta Sethi.

Sources said, more than 10 seriously injured passengers had been admitted to MKCG hospital in Berhampur. Two of the victims killed in the mishap have been identified as Bidyut Nayak of Rayagada and Jhunu Behera of Putabagada.

A relative of an injured passenger admitted at MKCG said, "My friend's wife was travelling in that bus. She has sustained serious injuries in her chest."

Commenting on the mishap, Sayed Maqbool Ali, a road safety official said, "It is most important to note that difficult terrain areas like Taptapani ghat is prone to accidents because in most cases, drivers fail to control the vehicles due to wrong system of driving. In such areas, it is mandatory to drive in low gears and restrict limit within 30 kmph."

Secondly, commuters should concentrate only on the road and not get distracted by music or any other situation. Vehicles driving downhill should allow the vehicles from the opposite side to climb up the road.

Commenting on the frequent occurrences of accidents in the area, Ali said, "Even though the government has improved the roads, a lot needs to be done like expansion on turning points.

Senior police officials including Ganjam SP & SDPO are monitoring rescue operations which will be soon over. As soon as all survivors are safely rescued, a probe will be launched to ascertain the exact reason behind the mishap, said Southern Range DIG Satyabrata Bhoi.

Speaking to OTV in connection with the incident, Odisha Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said, "Local RTO, MVI officials have informed that the bus might have overturned after losing balance due to low visibility in foggy condition. Authorities have been directed to expedite rescue operations & treatment of injured."

The Medical Superintendent of MKCG said, "14 injured have been admitted here out of which the condition of 4 remain critical. We have adequate medicine stocks, all necessary health care facilities to cater to the needs of the injured persons."

The Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) of Ganjam said, "We have 35 injured patients from the bus accident admitted in Digapahandi hospital."

Meanwhile, CM Naveen Patnaik announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the kins of the deceased and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and BJP National VP Baijayant Panda conveyed their condolences to the family of the bereaved.

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