Madhya Pradesh: 13 die as bus falls into Narmada river
The bus was more than 10 years old and its fitness certificate was about to expire in about 10 days, an RTO official said.
Thirteen people died as a bus fell off a bridge into Narmada river on Monday in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district, PTI reported.
Fifteen passengers have been rescued, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra told reporters.
The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation bus was headed to Amalner in Jalgaon district from Indore. It was carrying 30 to 32 passengers.
It broke through a railing off the Sanjay Setu bridge in Khalghat town and fell into the river, reported NDTV.
Officials said that the bus has been taken out of the river amid heavy rainfall, according to NDTV. Mishra said that a technical failure such as steering or brake failure could have resulted in the accident.
Before the bus was retrieved, Dhamnod police station in-charge Rajkumar Yadav had told The Times of India: “The bus is completely submerged in the depths of Narmada river. There is little chance of any survivors.”
The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation said that 13 bodies have been retrieved from the river, PTI reported.
An unidentified worker of the Regional Transport Office told PTI that the bus was more than 10 years old.
“The bus was registered with the Nagpur rural Regional Transport Office on June 12, 2012 and its certificate, which implies that the vehicle is roadworthy, was about to expire on July 27, 2022,” he added.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he spoke to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, after which cranes were dispatched to the accident spot.
“A team from Maharashtra has also reached the place for rescue work and some more officials are reaching,” Fadnavis added. “I have also asked former minister Girish Mahajan to go there immediately.”
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said he has instructed state Chief Secretary Manukumar Srivastava and Shekhar Channe, managing director of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, to offer assistance to the rescued passengers.
Shinde has asked the state-run bus company to provide ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the deceased, ANI reported.
Expressing grief on the deaths, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that he was monitoring the situation.
“In this hour of grief, the victims’ families should not consider themselves alone, I and the entire state are with them,” he tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other political leaders also expressed grief on the accident.