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Odishatv Bureau

Angul: Five passengers and a motorcyclist died while 34 passengers were injured, 18 of them seriously, after a private bus in which they were travelling fell off a bridge near Tukuda under Jarpada block, about 20 km from Angul, on National Highway-55 after colliding with a bike this afternoon.

Reports said the ill-fated bus Janhamamu was on the way to Athmallik from Angul carrying more than 40 passengers when the driver lost control of the vehicle which collided with a bike and later fell off the bridge near Tukuda.

While the biker and  two passengers died on the spot, two passengers were received dead at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack. Later, one injured passenger succumbed to his injuries at the SCB hospital.

Following information, Police and a Fire brigade team rushed to the spot  and sent the injured patients to Angul District Headquarters Hospital (DHH).

The incident took place at about 2.30 PM.

Angul collector Anil Kumar Samal said of the 36 patients admitted to Angul DHH, the condition of 20 patients is critical. “We have already shifted 18 seriously injured patients to SCB Medical College and Hospital,” he added.

Talking about the treatment of the injured patients, Samal said arrangements are being made to provide free treatment to all injured patients. “We have decided to provide financial assistance to the injured patients from the District Red Cross Fund. Apart from this, the state government is expected to announce financial assistance to the kin of the deceased,” he informed.

Authorities of Angul DHH have announced a helpline number 9439981888 to help the family members get latest information about the health condition of the injured passengers.

Meanwhile, police has conducted preliminary investigation into the details of the ill-fated private bus.

As per the investigation, the owner of the bus is Debakrushna Sahu of Nuamouza village in Rantalei panchayat while the fitness certificate of the bus is valid till 2017.

Though the capacity of the bus is 46 (35 seats and 11 standing), investigation has revealed that the bus was carrying more than 46 passengers.

Talking to media persons, Commerce and Transport minister Ramesh Majhi said the Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Angul, has been asked to submit a report mentioning the cause of the accident. Besides, he has been asked to record the statement of the passengers to ascertain whether the mishap was due to the negligence of the driver.

Expressing profound grief over the incident, chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh to each family of the deceased and free treatment to all injured passengers.

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