Twenty-eight people, including 10 children, were electrocuted when an iron cabinet tied atop the bus they were travelling in touched high voltage power lines in eastern Madhya Pradesh on Friday.
Four of the 55 tribals returning from a marriage ceremony in a village in Mandla district, 460 km from Bhopal, were admitted to a hospital with injuries but declared out of danger.
Mandla District Collector KK Khare, who reached the spot with a rescue team, said, "A criminal case has been registered against the bus owner, driver and conductor. The driver, who ran away with the conductor, was arrested later," he said. Khare also said he had ordered a magisterial enquiry into the incident.
Passengers told the police that the driver was aware of the height of the high-tension lines and the risk involved and should have been careful.
Moreover, they should have stayed back to help the passengers jump off the bus safely, a passenger said.
For Sumran (26), it was a narrow escape. "I was standing near the footboard when I felt a shock and jumped off immediately," he said. "I managed to get my wife and sister off but I couldn’t save my son as panic-stricken people crowded the door."