The Maharashtra state transport bus driver's attempt to overtake resulted in the vehicle plunging into the Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh, in which 12 passengers were killed earlier this week, police said on Friday.
The accident occurred at 10.15 am on Monday between Khalghat and Thigari in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh, nearly three hours after the bus left Indore city at 7.30 am for Amalner in Jalgaon district of north Maharashtra. Of the 12 deceased, seven passengers hailed from Maharashtra, four from Rajasthan and one from Indore.
"As per the probe, the accident took place after the man at the wheel tried to overtake a truck running ahead of it. In the process, the driver increased the speed of the bus, but lost control over the vehicle, which fell into the river after breaking off the railings on the bridge," district superintendent of police (SP) in MP's Khargone, D S Yadav, told PTI over phone.
The police have recorded the statement of a man, who was going on a motorcycle behind the bus when it fell into the river. He is the only witness of the accident, he said.
It was he who informed the police about the mishap minutes after the bus fell down, the official said.
"On the basis of his statement, a case was registered against the deceased driver Chandrakant Eknath Patil (45), a resident of Amalner in Jalgaon under section 304 (a) (deaths caused by negligence) of India Penal Code," he added.
The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has also to set up a committe to probe the accident.