Ten people were electrocuted and 16 injured when an 11,000-volt high-tension wire touched the bus they were travelling in. The incident occurred on Sunday morning in village Chandpur of Deoband area of Saharanpur district.
According to sources, the UP Roadways bus left Deoband at about 11.30 am en route to Roorkee. Since the bus was packed with passengers, the conductor asked the driver to halt for a while so that he could issue tickets to everyone. The bus stopped at village Chandpur around 11.50 am
The topsoil in the area had become loose due to rains, and the bus leaned towards the nearby electric pole. A low hanging high-tension wire from the pole touched the bus, resulting in the instant death of 10 passengers. Sixteen passengers received burn wounds. Locals say there was a loud blast at the time of incident and the tyres caught fire. Hundreds of people gathered around the bus but could only watch helplessly, unable to help the trapped passengers.
A Kanwaria, who was also travelling on the bus, made a heroic effort to remove the wire but died in the process. He realised that all those who tried to alight were being electrocuted, and sought to remove the wire with his wooden flag. But in this abortive attempt, the wire again touched the bus, electrocuting him too. Top administrative officials rushed to the spot to coordinate the rescue process.
The injured have been admitted to Baldeo Dass Bajoria District Hospital of Saharanpur. The electricity department was found at fault and Saharanpur Commissioner RP Sharma suspended an Assistant Engineer and a Junior Engineer with immediate effect.
The department has announced Rs. 1 lakh compensation for the deceased and Rs. 25,000 for those injured.