39 Dead As Indian Bus Veers Off Road Into Canal
Sumaira FH 18 days ago Tue 16th February 2021 | 07:00 PM
New Delhi, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 16th Feb, 2021 ) :Thirty-nine people were killed Tuesday when a bus plunged into a deep canal in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, officials said, with seven others managing to swim to safety.
The accident happened when the bus, which was carrying more than 50 passengers, veered off a bridge and crashed into the 30-feet (9.1-metre) deep canal in Sidhi district early on Tuesday morning.
It was unclear what caused the bus to swerve, but India's vast network of roads is poorly maintained and notoriously dangerous.
Officials said the driver and six others swam to safety. Several other people remain missing.
"The death toll in the bus accident has risen to 39," district magistrate Ravindra Kumar Choudhary told reporters.
The state government has ordered an inquiry.
Local officials stopped the release of water into the canal, which sped up rescue operations by divers and allowed cranes to pull the blue bus out.
Images showed bodies lined up on the banks of the canal as distraught relatives hugged each other and cried.
"The entire state is standing with those affected," Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in a video message.
The main causes are excessive speed, not wearing helmets -- sales of two-wheelers far outstrip those of cars -- and not using seatbelts.
In the same month an out-of-control dumper truck crushed 15 people to death as they slept by the roadside in the western state of Gujarat.