At least 21 people were killed and more than 30 others injured in Odisha's Angul district when their bus fell off old Manitri bridge on Friday morning, The Indian Express reported. Officials said the toll could rise as several of those injured were in critical condition. They were taken to hospitals in Athmallik, where the bus was headed, and Cuttack, PTI reported. Eyewitnesses said the driver was speaking on his mobile phone and swerved to avoid a child riding a cycle.
State Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi has ordered the regional transport office to investigate the case. The state's fire and emergency service personnel as well as the Disaster Rapid Action Force were part of the rescue mission.
Odisha's health minister, Atanu Nayak, said, "We have formed special teams of doctors and a special ward for the treatment of those injured. The government has decided to provide the victims with free medical assistance." Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh families of the victims. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "Bus accident in Odisha's Angul district is heart-rending. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and injured."