TRAGIC: 36 Killed in Bengal State Bus Accident
Death toll in West Bengal bus mishap touched 36 after rescue workers recovered 31 more bodies from the drowned state government-run bus on Monday, officials said.
Earlier in the morning, a speeding bus, which was going to Malda from Karimpur in Nadia district, lost its control and fell into a deep canal at Balir Ghat area under Daulatabad Police Station limits in Murshidabad district of West Bengal.
"A North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) bus (WB 63 A 3214) with at least 56 people on board fell into Bhairabi canal after crashing into Nalini Baske bridge's guard wall at around 6:50 am," a local police official told IBNS.
Locals rushed to the scene and rescued at least 27 persons from the river.
After being rescued, injured passengers were taken to a local hospital where 5 of them, including a child and two women, were declared dead.
As many as 20 injured passengers are being treated at Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital in Behrampur.
Later, local police, fire and emergency services officials, Disaster Management Group (DMG) personnel and, rescue workers and trained divers from National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) responded to the incident and recovered 31 more bodies from the bus.
"Taking help of four hydraulic cranes, we recovered the bus from water and found 31 bodies inside it," a senior official of Murshidabad district police told IBNS.
"After lifting the bus to the bridge, we will search again inside it to make sure that there is no more body stuck in the bus. Meanwhile, our underwater search operation is currently underway," the official added.
The state government has announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh each to the deceased's families, Rs. 1 lakh to seriously injured and Rs. 50,000 to the injured persons.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari visited the crashed site later in afternoon.
"Very unfortunate incident, government is with the victims' families. We will take all adequate steps to support the families of deceased and injured," Mamata Banerjee said.
(Reporting by Deepayan Sinha)