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At least 33 killed as bus falls into river in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur

The bodies were fished out from the river after cutting the windows by a gas cutter. Follow this space for live updates.

india Updated: Dec 23, 2017 22:59 IST
Suresh Foujdar
Suresh Foujdar
Hindustan Times, Bharatpur
Rajasthan accident,Sawai Madhopur,Bus accident
The ill-fated bus being pulled out from the river by a crane. (HT Photo)

At least thirty-three people were killed on Saturday when a bus, allegedly driven by the minor conductor, crashed through the railings of a bridge and fell into the Banas river in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur, police said.

Seven others were injured in the accident at Malarna Dungar, about 130 km from state capital Jaipur,

The victims were on their way to a Hindu temple, Ramdevji, at Malarna Chour on the Rajasthan-Madhya Pradesh border when the accident occurred at about 7.30 am.

Locals gather at the accident site in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur. ( HT Photo )

The driver was allegedly attempting to overtake another vehicle when he lost control of the vehicle, which plunged nearly 100 feet into the river.

Though police identified the driver as 32-year-old Zakir, who was among the dead, at least two survivors told HT that the teenage conductor was driving when it crashed.

Official statistics show that one road accident takes place every four minutes in India, most of them due to rash or negligent driving including drink driving. Driver fatigue, poorly maintained roads and vehicles are also among the causes of such accidents which kill more than 110,000 people annually in the country.

Sawai Madhopur superintendent of police Maman Singh said the exact cause of the accident could be ascertained only after an inquiry.

Rescue workers used gas-cutters to enter the bus though the windows to retrieve the bodies, that included women and children.

Eighteen victims have been identified, police said adding that 15 were from Sawai Madhopur, one from Dausa and two from Uttar Pradesh. Ten bodies were handed over to their families.

Ambulances were called in to rush the injured and bodies to hospitals, said district collector Kailash Chand Verma who along with the superintendent of police reached the spot to oversee rescue operation.

All private hospitals were alerted to admit the injured. The bus was later retrieved from the river by a crane.

Locals had also gathered at the site and helped in rescue operation.

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje expressed grief over the accident and said she talked to the officials and ordered them to carry out speedy rescue operations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the state government was closely monitoring the situation.

BJP MLA from Sawai Madhopur, Diya Kumari, said action would be taken against guilty. The single road bridge will be double-laned, the MLA said.

Pilgrims from Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan visit the temple on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

Rescue operation is underway at the accident site in in Malarna Dungar area of Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur. ( HT Photo )

First Published: Dec 23, 2017 10:21 IST