UP: 29 killed, 18 injured as bus falls from bridge

At least 29 people, including a child, were killed and more than a dozen others injured, when the bus carrying them fell off the Noida Expressway in Uttar Pradesh's Agra district, about 400 kilometres from here, on Monday morning.

According to the police sources here, the UP Roadways bus was on way to Delhi from Lucknow, when the incident occurred. The ill-fated bus veered off the Expressway and fell into a nullah upside down. ''As the mishap occurred in the wee hours, most of the passengers were asleep....they could not react immediately,'' said a senior police official.

-Officials said that the driver of the bus dozed off losing control over the steering wheel and it crashed into the sidewalls and fell down into the nullah.

Local villagers were the first to reach the scene and brought many of the injured out of the bus, sources said. The injured were rushed to the medical college hospital at Agra.

The bus could be lifted out of the nullah with the help of a crane a few hours later. Officials said that 29 people bodies were brought out from the bus. ''The toll may rise as some of the injured are in critical condition,'' said an official in Agra.

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath ordered an inquiry into the mishap, sources said. UP Roadways has announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs five lakh to each of the kin of the deceased.

Around three hundred people were killed in mishaps on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway last year prompting the state government to impose speed restrictions on the vehicles. Only recently the UP government decided to impose a stiff penalty on those, who cover the 306-kilometre distance between Lucknow and Agra in less than three hours.

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