Five killed as bus falls into river

 
Mishap: The ill-fated NEKRTC bus which fell into Karanja  river near Dagdi village, Bhalki taluk, Bidar on Friday. Dh PhotoThe deceased have been identified as Sharnappa (61) from Muchalamb village, Raghunatha Chimma (55) from Gorta (b) village of Basavakalyan taluk, Balagi Barje (25) from Madannur village of Aurad taluk, Vishwanath Shankar (40) from Ucha village of Bhalki taluk and Khudus Rehman (25) from Basavakalyan town, who succumbed on the way to the hospital.

Police said the Bhalki-bound bus was coming from Basavakalyan town, when the driver lost control of the bus and it fell off an unprotected bridge from a height of 25 feet. The police added that there was only knee-deep water in the river otherwise there would have been more number of casualties.

There were 32 passengers in the bus when the mishap occurred, of which, six are in critical condition and the remaining are under treatment at  Government General Hospitals of Bidar and Bhalki.

After visiting the injured in Bidar, Bhalki MLA Ishwar Khandre expressed shock and grief over the incident and opined that NEKRTC should replace the old fleet of buses, which could be the reason for the mishap. He added that compensation should be announced by the department for the affected passengers.

NEKRTC Divisional Controller Venkateshwara Reddy told Deccan Herald that the incident could have occurred due to driver’s negligence. “He may have lost control of the speeding vehicle while trying to make way for a vehicle coming from the opposite direction. However, if the overbridge had been guarded with protective railings, the mishap could have been avoided,” he said.

Cranes were pressed into service to remove the mangled vehicle from the river. Preliminary inspection revealed that the vehicle did not have any mechanical failure.
Deputy Commissioner Harsha Gupta, Superintendent of Police Satish Kumar and senior officials of the administration visited the spot and inspected rescue operations.

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