Disasters & Accidents

Death toll climbs to 45 after bus falls into canal in central India

(Update 1: updates death toll, adds details)

New Delhi, Feb 16 (EFE).- At least 45 people were killed, six were injured and an indeterminate number remained missing on Tuesday after a bus fell into a canal in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Ravindra Kumar Chaudhary, the district magistrate of Sidhi – the district where the incident took place – told EFE that 45 people had been confirmed dead so far, while six people had been rescued.

“Rescue operation is going on,” he said, although ruling out that the death toll could increase significantly.

The accident took place around 7.30 am in the town of Rampur Naikin when the bus veered off the road and fell into a canal full of water, local police station in-charge Ashok Pandey told EFE.

“The reason behind the accident is still unknown,” Pandey said, adding that the injured had been shifted to a nearby hospital.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed shock at the accident in a tweet and announced compensation worth 200,000 rupees ($2,750) for the dead, and 50,000 rupees ($690) for the injured.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan also tweeted his condolences to the victims and announced a separate compensation worth 500,000 rupees ($6,900) for the families of the deceased.

Road accidents in India are frequent due to poor road conditions, poor conditions of several vehicles and lack of respect for traffic regulations.

In the last major accident, on Monday at least 16 people were killed and two were injured after a truck carrying daily wage workers and their families overturned on a highway in western India.

In 2019, a total of 151,113 people lost their lives and more than 451,000 were injured in some 449,000 road accidents in India, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. EFE

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