As many as 22 people were killed and 18 injured when a bus fell off the Mahatma Gandhi Setu over the Ganga in Vaishali district early this morning.
The Bihar State Road Transport Corporation bus plunged about 100 feet from the bridge and fell on dry riverbed near pillar number seven, about 15 km from Patna at 3.45 am. The driver of the ill-fated bus first collided with the stranded tractor on the eastern flank of the bridge and then crashed through the bridge's railing.
Vaishali DM Lallan Singh and DP Anupama Nilekar said that 22 including two women and as many children died in the accident while 18 were rushed to Hajipur Sadar Hospital, PMCH and the Nalanda Medical College Hospital in a critical condition for treatment. While 18 passengers including the superintendent of the Katihar Medical College Hospital died on the spot, four more succumbed to the injuries at the Sadar Hospital.
Sub-Divisional Officer BK Sinha of Hajipur said that the bus with 38 passengers on board including the driver and the conductor was on its way to Patna from Raxaul in East Champaran district.
A minor, Vikas Ranjan of Raxaul recalling the horrible accident said that the bus first started shaking after colliding with the stranded tractor and fell down from Setu with a huge thud.
The deceased have been identified as Ram Parvesh Singh (Nalanda), Kedar PD Singh (bus conductor of Goraul in Vaishali), Rajesh Kumar (driver, Bhagawanpur vaishali), Brajesh Kumar (Raxaul), Bharat Bhusan (Raxual), Dr AP Singh (superintendent of Katihar Medical College, Patna), Raju Thakur (Raxaul), Munna Kumar (Raxual), Lavlesh Kumar (Raxual), Raj Kumar Panday and his wife Sheela Devi, sons-Shivam Kumar and Rahul Kumar of Lauria in Motihari and Jan Margi Gurung of BMP-1 Patna.
Deputy Chief Minister Shushil Kumar Modi accompanied by Road Construction Minister Nand Kishore Yadav visited the place of occurrence and hospital and talked to the injured patients.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered a probe into the accident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 50,000 each to the victims. The family members of the deceased will be allowed insurance claim.
Email author: Rajesh_hajipur@rediffmail.com