A day after a Punjab Roadways bus fell into the Bhakra canal, a passenger's body was recovered on Thursday, taking the number of bodies fished out so far to four, even as the untraced driver, Surinder Singh, was booked for rash driving.
The body, found near Jalkheri village in Fatehgarh Sahib, is yet to be identified. Of the three bodies recovered earlier, two have been identified as that of Viresh Kumar and Neeraj Kumar, residents of Bulandshahar (Uttar Pradesh). Viresh, an engineer, worked for a Jalandhar-based company, while Neeraj was a mehndi artist on his way to Punjab to ply his trade. Both bodies were handed over to family members on Thursday. A woman's body, which was recovered on Wednesday, is lying unidentified at the civil hospital.
The Sirhind police booked the driver under sections 279 (rash driving), 304-A (causing death by negligence) and 427 (causing damage) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The case was registered on the statement of Vijay Kumar, an irrigation department employee from Alipur Sondhia village near Sirhind. He alleged that it was due to negligent driving that the bus crashed into the overbridge's railing and fell into the canal.
Going by the calls of families which are contacting the control room set up by the administration, there were at least 15 passengers aboard the bus. "We have got calls from people enquiring about their near and dear ones. The identity of seven passengers, besides the driver and conductor, have been established, while we will show goods recovered from the bus to family members to get details of other passengers," said senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurmeet Singh Chauhan.