Fifteen persons were killed and 40 others injured after an Uttar Pradesh-bound private bus, mostly carrying labourers going home for Diwali, rammed into a trailer-truck from behind in Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh, officials said on Saturday.
The accident occurred around 11.30 pm on Friday near Teonthar town, when the bus was going to Gorakhpur from Hyderabad, they said.
The bus, a sleeper coach, was negotiating a mountain road in Sohagi ghati, about 60 km from the district headquarters, when it rammed into the trailer-truck from behind on national highway (NH)-30, Rewa Superintendent of Police (SP) Navneet Bhasin said.
The trailer-truck suddenly applied brakes after it hit another vehicle ahead of it, due to which the bus crashed into the truck, he said.
"Fifteen people were killed and 40 others injured in the accident. The victims were mostly labourers going home to Uttar Pradesh for Diwali. The bus also belonged to that state," he said.
The impact of the crash was so severe that the bodies of the bus driver and conductor had to be pulled out from the mangled front portion of the vehicle with the help of gas cutters, Bhasin said.
Rewa district collector Manoj Pushp said 12 persons were killed on the spot, and two others succumbed while being taken to a hospital from Teonthar to Rewa. Later, one more person died at the hospital in Rewa, he said.
After being alerted about the incident, police personnel from Sohagi rushed to the site and launched a rescue operation.
While most of the injured persons were admitted to a hospital in Teonthar, those who suffered serious injuries were shifted to Rewa, the SP said.
President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the bus accident.
"I am deeply saddened to hear the news of the death of many passengers due to the accident of a bus going to Gorakhpur from Hyderabad in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh. My deepest condolences to all the bereaved families. I wish the injured a speedy recovery," Murmu said in a tweet in Hindi.
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO India) in a tweet said, "The Prime Minister has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF for the next of kin of each deceased in the tragic bus accident in Madhya Pradesh. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000."
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan spoke to his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath and briefed him about the accident, an official said.
Chouhan informed the UP chief minister that the seriously injured persons are undergoing treatment in a government medical college in Rewa.
The Madhya Pradesh government will bear the cost of treatment of the injured persons, Chouhan told him.
SP Bhasin said a process has been initiated to send those persons, who have suffered minor injuries in the accident, to Uttar Pradesh and alternative travel arrangements are being made for them, he said.
"By evening, more than 25 passengers will be sent to Uttar Pradesh," Bhasin said, adding that the death toll is unlikely to rise.
One of the bus passengers, Subhash Choudhary, said he was going to his hometown Maharajganj in UP from Hyderabad to celebrate Diwali, but the accident left him shattered.
"I was fast asleep and celebrating Diwali in my dream as the festival of lights is just three days away. I had gone to sleep after having dinner with fellow passengers. But I woke up to a loud thud. In a second or two, cries like 'God save me, God help me' resonated in our bus," he said.
"My dream soon turned into a nightmare and I literally felt stars were tumbling around me. I was writhing in pain and there were several others like me. I saw helpless people in pools of blood inside the bus. Some of them were not responding, while some others were gasping for breath," he added.
Choudhary suffered injuries on his hand and legs and is being treated in a hospital in Rewa.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
First Published: Oct 22 2022 | 4:44 PM IST