New Delhi, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- The toll in a bus accident rose to 51 as more bodies were recovered on Wednesday, a day after a crowded coach plunged into a canal in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, police said.
“More bodies were recovered in the morning (on Sunday). The death toll has reached 51,” Ashok Pandey, a police officer, told EFE.
Pandey, police station in-charge in Rampur Naikin town of Sidhi district, where the accident took place on Tuesday morning, said a couple of more people might be missing from the tragedy.
The rescue work is on to find them, the police officer said.
The accident occurred around 7.30 am when the bus veered off the road and fell into the canal full of water. It is sstill knot known what caused the accident even as initial speculations suggested the driver lost control of the bus before crashing into the water.
Road accidents on generally treacherous roads of India are frequent due to the poor conditions of roads, the poor maintenance of public transport vehicles, and the lack of respect for traffic regulations.
In the last major accident, on Monday, at least 16 people were killed and two injured after a truck carrying daily wage workers and their families overturned on a highway in western India.
In 2019, more than 151,000 people lost their lives and more than 451,000 were injured in some 449,000 road accidents in India, according to the data from the Federal Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
“We are the highest in the world as far as the (road) accidents are concerned. It is really not a good thing,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said, addressing a road safety program in south India on Tuesday.
“In India, we register 500,000 accidents and 150,000 deaths every year,” he said, adding 70 percent of the dead in road accidents are 18-45 years.
“Road accidents are more dangerous than Covid-19,” the minister said.
He said the government had now pledged to save lives by making India’s roads safer and prevent at least 50 percent road accidents by 2025. EFE-EPA