20 killed in Kolkata bus mishap
The bus had around 55 passengers and twenty bodies were fished out. Several of the injured were taken to hospitals in critical conditionUpdated: Apr 04, 2008 20:14 IST
At least 20 people were killed when a private bus plunged into a canal in northeastern Kolkata on Friday.
Twenty bodies were fished out. The bus had around 55 passengers. Several of the injured were taken to hospitals in critical condition.
Tapas Chatterjee, chairman of Rajarhat Municipality under Kolkata's adjoining North 24-Parganas district, told IANS: "Twenty bodies were recovered while many in critical condition were taken to hospitals."
"The accident occurred when the brake of the vehicle failed as the driver was trying to overtake another bus," he said.
West Bengal Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia, however, confirmed 15 deaths.
The bus has been pulled out of water with the help of two cranes. A team of 15 divers from the Disaster Management Group reached the spot to check if more passengers were trapped.
Chatterjee said though the identities of the passengers were yet to be confirmed, most could be residents of adjoining Rajarhat, Narayanpur and Pagladanga.
The injured passengers have been admitted to the Charnok, Swasti, Uma and Apex nursing homes.
General manager of Apex Nursing Home Shaibal Sen told IANS: "Three of the 11 injured admitted here, including three children and a woman, are in critical condition. Seven died here of serious head injuries and water in their lungs."
Opposition Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee rushed to the spot. She later said: "The number of road accidents is increasing every day. And still the state government remains unperturbed."
"Even today, the divers arrived after the local people risked their lives and saved most of the trapped passengers," she noted.