24 killed as bus plunges into West Bengal river; locals protest delay in rescue, torch police vehicle

By: | Updated: January 29, 2018 7:50 PM

In a shocking event, a bus packed with over 50 people on Monday morning crashed through the railing of a bridge and fell into a river in West Bengal's Murshidabad.

In a shocking event, a bus packed with over 50 people on Monday morning crashed through the railing of a bridge and fell into a river in West Bengal’s Murshidabad. (Google Maps)

In a shocking event, a bus packed with over 50 people on Monday morning crashed through the railing of a bridge and fell into a river in West Bengal’s Murshidabad. After the accident, it was reported that at least 24 passengers have died even as several have been reported as missing, reports ANI. Following the incident, the locals alleged that the police was delaying the rescue operation and set a police vehicle on fire. To control the situation the police resorted to tear gas and lathi-charge. “A speeding bus with 56 people on board fell into Gobraghat canal. The bus was going to Malda from Karimpur in Nadia via Murshidabad. The accident happened at Daulatabad while crossing the Balighat Bridge.

The report said, “24 killed after a bus carrying 50 passengers drowned in a canal while crossing Balighat bridge in Murshidabad; rescue operations by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) underway.” Earlier, Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari along with other officials rushed to the spot on a helicopter on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s instructions.

Adhikari said that the water was too deep, and so it was difficult to lift the bus using a small crane, due to which there was a little delay but police, administration and the local people took responsibility and initiated the rescue operation. He added,”Big and hydraulic cranes have reached the spot. A rescue operation is on at full speed. Chief Minister is personally keeping a watch.”

The few passengers who were rescued told the media that the driver of the bus was talking on the phone while driving. So far, the rescue team has been able to save four people while a few others swam to safety themselves.

Saumik Hossain, Youth Trinamool Congress leader, Murshidabad, however, said,“The accident occurred due to fog. Initially, some people tried to create a problem but the situation is now under control.” Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had also reached the spot, as per Indian Express report.

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