Cuttack, Oct 25: At least five persons were killed and 40 others injured when a private bus plunged 20-ft down from a bridge after hitting a biker near Tukuda on NH-55 in Angul district.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed condolences and announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each to the families of the deceased. Superintendent of Police, Angul, Kavita Jalan said the bus carrying around 45 passengers was on its way to nearby Athamalick from Angul.
"After hitting a two-wheeler on the bridge, the bus swerved and plunged into the gorge snapping the bridge barricade," she said. Apart from one of the bus passengers, the bike rider and the pillion rider, who also were thrown into the gorge along with their vehicle, died on the spot.
Two others succumbed to their injuries while being shifted to SCB medical here. The injured were immediately rescued from the spot and rushed to Angul district headquarters hospital, from where at least 32 seriously injured passengers were again shifted to the Cuttack hospital.
Hospital sources here said they have kept ready at least seven teams of doctors and paramedics to attend the injured persons, who are being shifted from Angul in phased manner.
"A 40-bedded trauma care unit and eight beds in central ICU were kept ready for the shifted injured passengers from Angul," a senior Cuttack district official informed, adding that the hospital till now received two of them dead.
State Transport minister Ramesh Majhi too expressed concern over frequent road accidents in Angul and said the local transport officer has been asked to submit a report after ascertaining the cause of the last mishap.
This is the second major road accident in the district in two months after the September 9 mishap involving another private bus in which 19 passengers died and more than 25 others sustained injuries.