Bus falls off bridge over Mahanadi River; 10 dead, 50 injured

Cuttack: Nearly ten persons, including 3 women, were killed after a bus travelling from Talcher to Cuttack fell off a bridge into the Mahanadi River bed in Cuttack yesterday evening.

Out of the 50 injured who were admitted to SCB following the mishap, 7 are in the ICU and 35 have been admitted to the general ward. Eight injured have been shifted to private nursing homes by their relatives, informed SCB Emergency Officer Bhubanananda Maharana informed today. He further stated that 10 dead bodies were brought to the hospital out of which 7 were men.

Among the deceased, one Jamini Ballav Dash has been identified as an employee of Ortel Communications.

Till last reports came in all the passengers were evacuated from the ill-fated bus. Rescue operations were called off following evacuation of all the passengers.

It is suspected that the bus could have hit a buffalo on the road following which it veered off the bridge and fell 30 feet below into the river bed. As a buffalo was found on the bridge, sources believe that it could be the very likely reason behind the accident.

According to sources, NDRF, ODRAF teams, and Fire brigade personnel along with locals are carrying out rescue operations. Two boats have been deployed for rescue as the spot where the bus has landed is reportedly surrounded by water.

CM Naveen Patnaik expressed his grief over the incident. The chief minister has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of the victims. Moreover, the injured will be provided free medical treatment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to twitter and expressed condolences to those who lost their loved ones in the bus accident.

Similarly, Odisha Governor also expressed his grief over the incident.

Union Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan expressed his condolences over the deaths & wished speedy recovery of the injured passengers.

The Union minister also visited the SCB medical to inquire about the health condition of the injured.

Extending deep sorrow, former MP Baijayant Panda extended his condolences to the loved ones of those who fell prey to the unfortunate incident at Mahanadi bridge.

Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram also expressed sorrow over the tragic accident through a twitter post.

BJP spokesperson Pitambar Acharya tweeted ‘I am shocked to know about the tragic bus accident at Mahanadi bridge, Cuttack. Praying Lord Jagannath for safe rescue & speedy recovery of victims. My prayers for the souls who succumbed to injuries in the accident.’

On the other hand, while confirming that the ill-fated bus had valid fitness & was carrying passengers within capacity, that RTO said that a 3-member inquiry team will be constituted to probe the matter.

Mangalabag Police Station has also released a helpline No – 8280338340.