30 killed as bus falls into canal near Pandavapura

30 killed as bus falls into canal near Pandavapura

Highly inconsolable relatives and family members weep after the bodies were retrieved near the accident spot. DH Photo

At least 30 passengers, including 15 women and seven children, were killed when a private bus plunged into the Visvesvaraya Canal near Kanaganamaradi near Pandavapura in Mandya district on Saturday. Only two passengers, including a schoolboy, survived the accident.

The bus was bound for Mandya from Pandavapura via Chikkabyadarahalli and Shivalli. The bus plunged into the 12-feet-deep canal between Kanaganamaradi and Vadesamudra villages at 12.25 pm after the driver lost control over the vehicle.

According to sources, 32 passengers, including eight school children, were travelling on the bus. Except for Girish, a carpenter, and Rohith, a class VII student, all other passengers died in the accident.

Girish, who managed to break open the window pane of the bus, rescued Rohith. Rohith and four of his friends boarded the bus at Kanaganamaradi, nearly two kilometres from the accident spot. As it was a Saturday, the school students boarded the bus at Kanaganamaradi.

It is said that the driver lost the control over the vehicle due to a technical glitch. The steering wheel of the vehicle got locked and the driver could not control the bus.

A majority of the passengers were from Vadesamudra and were returning to the village from Pandavapura.

Soon after the incident, the police and Fire and Emergency Services personnel rushed to the spot. The firemen, with the help of local people, fished out the bodies, which were handed over to the family members after the postmortem.

On hearing the news, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who rushed to the village from Bengaluru, announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the family members of the deceased. District in-charge Minister C S Putaraju, Transport Minister D C Thamanna and former chief minister Siddaramaiah visited the spot and consoled the victims’ families.

The villagers blamed the driver for negligent driving, bad condition of the road and the bus. The villagers said that the bus was very old and was not in a good condition. The villagers depend on private buses to travel in the region.

Thousands throng accident spot

As news of the accident spread, thousands of people thronged to the spot. With vehicles occupying the road, traffic piled up for nearly three kilometres. The crowds also impeded the rescue operations.

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