According to the latest reports, nearly 13 people including four women and a minor succumbed when a bus ferrying more than 30 passengers fell into the Narmada river from a bridge near Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district on Monday, July 18, morning.
The bus reportedly belongs to the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC). It was en route from Madhya Pradesh’s Indore to Amalner in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. During the journey on National Highway No.3 (Agra-Mumbai road) at nearly 9.30 am the bus fell into the river. The bus was removed from the river with assistance of a crane. It has been reported that the fitness certificate of the bus which was 10 years old was slated to expire in 10 days.
Based on accounts, before falling into the river, the bus rammed into a railing of the bridge between Khalghat and Thigari which is nearly 230-km-away from Jalgaon. It is believed that 13 bodies have been retrieved, while eight of them have been identified.
Narratives suggest that the driver, Chandrakant Eknath Patil and conductor, Prakash Shravan Chaudhary of the bus are among those deceased. Both hailed from Jalgaon’s Amalner. The other six fatalities who have been identified include Chetan Ramgopal Jangid from Jaipur, Jagannath Hemraj Joshi from Udaipur, Nibaji Ananda Patil, Kamalabai Nibaji Patil, both from Amalner, Aarva Murtuja Bora from Akola and Saifuddin Abbas Nurani from Indore.
On the other hand, it has been reported that nearly 15 have been rescued.
In light of these developments, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde directed the MSRTC to announce an ex-gratia of INR 10 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.
Further, INR 2 lakh was announced earlier in the day by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s Office. On the other hand, the injured will be given INR 50,000.
Reports claim that the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Chauhan, earlier in the day telephoned Shinde and briefed him regarding the mishap and rescue operations. Likewise, Shinde requested Chauhan to tell the Khargone and Dhar district administrations to offer the requisite help to the accident victims.
Moreover, Shinde is believed to have instructed the Jalgaon collector to coordinate with the concerned administration in MP to conduct the rescue operations and offer treatment to those injured.
Accounts state that the control room helpline has been set by the Jalgaon district collectorate. These include 09555899091, 0257-2223180 and 0257-2217193. Similarly, MSRTC’s helpline is 022-23023940, wherein citizens can garner details about the incident.