Nine persons were electrocuted and burnt to death, and 22 others injured, after a portion of a bus came in contact with a power transmission line in Golanthara area of Odisha's Ganjam district on Sunday, officials said.
Ganjam District Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange and Berhampur Superintendent of Police Pinak Mishra confirmed that nine persons were killed in the incident.
Five bodies were recovered from the spot, while the rest succumbed to injuries later, police said.
A part of the bus caught fire after coming in contact with an 11 KV power transmission line, leading to the casualties, the Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Berhampur Sadar, Jayant Kumar Mohapatra, said.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik condoled the deaths and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased.
The chief minister also announced that free medical treatment would be provided to the injured, an official said.
The injured were admitted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital here.
Later, five of them were shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, he said.
The mishap occurred near Mandarajpur when the vehicle, carrying around 40 passengers, was travelling to Chikarada from Jangalpadu.
The people were on their way to attend a marriage negotiation ceremony, Mohapatra said.
State Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said, a thorough inquiry will be conducted into the incident and strict action will be taken against the guilty.
Union Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan expressed shock over the accident and prayed for speedy recovery of the injured.
Seeking a thorough probe into the tragedy, Pradhan said, concrete steps must be taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
Local people along with the fire service and police personnel swung into action immediately after the accident.
Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Sukant Sethi said, the blaze has been extinguished. All those inside the vehicle have been rescued and shifted to a hospital after disconnecting the transmission line's power supply.
Preliminary information suggested that the luggage carrier of the bus came in contact with the transmission line along the road when the driver tried to give way to a two-wheeler on the narrow path, he said.
Mentioning that the first priority was to rescue the injured and ensure proper medical treatment for them, the SP said, an inquiry into the incident has been initiated and further action would be launched on the basis of the findings.
Power distribution agency SOUTHCO will examine the circumstances that led to the mishap and appropriate action will be taken on the basis of their report, the SP said.
The deceased have been identified and post-mortem examination of the bodies has been completed.
Odisha Power Transmission Corporation (OPTCL) CMD, Saurav Garg said, the SOUTHCO has been asked to give a detailed report about the transmission line at the site, including the height of the 11 KV wires.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)