A major bus accident took place in Bihar’s Motihari on Thursday, killing at least 27 persons and injuring several others. According to a update by news agency ANI, the bus turned turtle and caught fire. The agency said locals have started rescue operations, but the death toll is still expected to rise.
According to News 18, Motihari district magistrate and superintendents of police have reached the spot and only five people have been rescued safely so far.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams have also been rushed to the spot and the hospitals in Motihari and nearby Muzaffarpur districts have been put on alert.
Speaking to reporters, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar termed it a “painful incident” and assured the families of victims of help from the government. “It is a really painful incident, local administration officials are present at the spot. We will extend all possible help to the families of those who died,” Nitish said.
According to a report in Zee News, the New Delhi-bound bus was carrying 35 passengers and had left from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, when it went off road and overturned due to a large pothole. The bus later caught fire.
The news report further stated that the accident happened near Kotwa police station on National Highway 28 in Motihari district, over 75 km from the state capital.
Speaking to NDTV, state’s Disaster Management and Relief Minister Dinesh Chandra Yadav said that the AC bus lost control while trying to avoid collision with a motorcyclist coming from the opposite direction.
Yadav further said that there is a provision to give compensation of Rs four lakh to the next of kin of dead in such cases and it will be given to the families of the victim in this case as well.
Earlier on 7 April, a similar accident took place in Bihar’s Mirganj, when another bus overturned because the driver and conductor were allegedly fighting, and the distracted driver lost control. Fifteen people were injured in the accident, including seven who were critically injured.
In another such incident on 19 February, a bus carrying a marriage party overturned. Eight people from a family died in the accident while 40 others were injured.