MP bus accident: 4 more bodies recovered; toll rises to 51
The death toll in the bus accident in Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district has gone up to 51 with the recovery of four more bodies on Wednesday, officials said.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also left from Bhopal to visit the accident spot in Sidhi.
On Tuesday, bodies of 47 people, including 20 women and two children, were recovered after the packed private bus skidded off the road and plunged into a water-filled canal in Sidhi.
The rescue operations, which were halted late Tuesday night, resumed on Wednesday morning.
Four more bodies, including of a woman and six-month- old girl, were recovered on Wednesday, taking the toll to 51, Sidhi Collector Ravindra Kumar Choudhary said.
Three bodies were swept away and found in a part of the canal in adjoining Rewa district, while one was found about six km from the accident spot, said Ashok Pandey, in- charge of Rampur Naikin police station, under whose jurisdiction the accident spot is located.
The bus driver, who had fled from the accident site, has been detained, Sidhi's Superintendent of Police Pankaj Kumawat said, but did not divulge any further information.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday left from the state capital to visit the accident spot in Sidhi and meet families of the victims.
"It is a very tragic incident. I wanted to reach the spot and meet the bereaved families on Tuesday, but it could have affected the rescue operation," Chouhan told reporters in Bhopal before leaving for Sidhi.
The chief minister said he would meet family members of the deceased and console them.
The accident took place on Tuesday morning near Patna village, around 80 km from the Sidhi district headquarters, when the bus heading from Sidhi to Satna fell into the canal, which is part of the Bansagar dam project.
Nearly 600 personnel, including from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and local authorities, from five districts are engaged in the rescue operation since Tuesday morning, officials said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed grief at the 'horrific' bus accident and approved an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh each for the next of kin of those who lost their lives.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a separate ex-gratia of ₹5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.
Chouhan on Tuesday said he ordered to stop the water outflow from the Bansagar dam so that water level in the canal could go down and help in the rescue operation.