BHOPAL: Eight passengers including a year-old child drowned and 18 others injured after Chhattarpur-bound bus plunged into flooded Richhan river in Raisen district on late Wednesday night. Rescue operation was on to search two missing passengers.
The private bus of Om Sai Ram bus, which had started from Indore with 45 passengers on board, fell into the Richhan river, around 1.30 am while it was passing over a culvert. The culvert was riddled with potholes and the bus driver while negotiating the pits apparently lost control over the vehicle and it fell off the culvert. Local villagers were first to rush to the accident site and rescue the passengers. The villagers alerted the administration and soon search and rescue operation was launched. The collector Raisen Umakant Bharagava along with Superintendent of Police Monica Shukla rushed to the spot to supervise the rescue operations.
Eleven seriously injured passengers were sent to Bhopal for treatment while seven were admitted to Raisen district hospital, said Bhargava. All the injured were provided Rs 10,000 each by way of immediate help, he said. The efforts were on to pull out the bus from the river with the help of a crane, he added.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath expressed grief over the incident, and announced aid of Rs four lakh for the kin of each deceased.
School education minister Prabhuram Chowdhary visited the district hospital and met the injured persons.
The deceased include Ravi Bansal,22 Chhattarpur resident and his one year old son Deepak; Mohammed Anwar,29, Sagar; Sagar Malviya, 45, Raisen; Ujefa,19, Begumganj; Ashish Saini,33, Shahgarh(Sagar); BL Malviya, forest colony(Raisen). Another Ramawatar,25, was brought dead in Hamidia Hospital(Bhopal). Those undergoing treatment at Hamidia Hospital include Rajendra, Pradeep, Sajju, Dilip, Bakeel, Vijay Shukla, Rashid, Pinky, Vimal, and Rohit Shukla.
Potholed-riddled culvert led to accident: The bridge riddled with potholes led to the accident which claimed eight lives. Following the accident, the administration flew into action and repaired the road overnight. The locals said that incessant rains wreaked havoc on the road which has developed deep pits and potholes. The bus driver while negotiating the potholes on the culvert apparently drove too close to the corner and the vehicle fell off the culvert into the river.