20 killed and 25 injured as bus plunges into Kestopur canal

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Kolkata, Apr 4 (UNI) At least 20 people were killed and 25 injured, some of them seriously, when a crowded private bus veered off the busy VIP road and plunged into Kestopur canal near the city airport in North 24 Parganas district today.

District Magistrate Prabhat Mishra said the injured were admitted to different nursing homes, where the condition of several was stated to be critical.

The accident occurred when the driver lost control over the vehicle following brake failure.

The ill-fated bus on route no 217/B was on way to Narayanpur from Babughat.

Local people and divers, who had been pressed into service, were able to recover at least 30 people.

While Apex Nursing Home registered ten bodies, Charnock and Uma Nursing Homes four each and Swasti Nursing Home one, he added.

Later, one more wounded person succumbed to his injuries taking the toll to 20, Mr Mishra informed.

Most of the people died of severe suffocation, he said adding the toll might go up further as conflicting reports were pouring in from several quarters.

Border Security Force (BSF) personnel had rushed to the site to extend their helping hand to the rescue operation.

Traffic on the busy VIP route remained disrupted for some hours after the accident in the noon.

Two heavy cranes, deployed to salvage the bus which had turned upside down, had been extracted out of the canal.

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