Toll in Bengal bus accident rises to 42

Toll in Bengal bus accident rises to 42

The toll in  Monday's bus accident near Daulatabad in Murshidabad district of West Bengal mounted to 42 on Tuesday, with six more bodies fished out by the NDRF and state government's disaster management group personnel.

Police officers in Daulatabad said six more bodies were fished out from  a deep canal, on Tuesday, where the packed bus had plunged into from a bridge after the driver lost control over the vehicle.

"We have gathered information from several survivors that the driver was speaking on his mobile phone and driving the bus. While overtaking another vehicle on the bridge, the driver lost control and plunged into the canal," a senior officer told DH over phone.

The accident happened near Daulatabad area, around 220 km from Kolkata, when the bus was on its way to Malda from Karimpur and crashed into the railings of the Balirghat bridge on the Sonar Ratnakar canal while crossing it and fell into it.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had rushed to Murshidabad from Kolkata along with state transport minister Suvendu Adhikari, on Tuesday said the district magistrate was coordinating rescue efforts and disbursement of ex gratia to the next of the kin of dead passengers.

"We have asked our experts to conduct a thorough check of the bridge, before opening it up for normal traffic.  Monday's incident was a sad and unfortunate one," she said.

The state government had announced Rs 5 lakh ex gratia for the kin of those died in the incident, Rs 1 lakh to the grievously injured and Rs 50,000 to the other injured passengers.

Expressing his grief and condoling the deaths in the bus accident, state Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Tuesday said people should strictly follow and obey traffic rules.

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