Compensation announced for Odisha bus accident victims

Bhubaneswar, April 18 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday announced compensation of Rs.2 lakh each for the families of those who died in a bus accident in Deogarh district and free medical treatment for the injured.

A statement from Patnaik’s office also said the number of deaths in the accident, which occurred on Sunday evening, was 27.

Earlier, state fire brigade cheif Binay Behera had stated that 30 people were killed in the accident when a bus carrying over 40 artistes of an opera team rolled down a 300-feet gorge.

Behera had said 27 bodies had been recovered from the accident site while three people died while being taken to hospital.

The statement from Patnaik’s office said the ex gratia aid would be provided to the families of the deceased from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF).

The chief minister condoled the deaths and prayed for the speed recovery of the injured.

Director General of Police K.B. Singh told reporters that the injured people were admitted to district hospital.

The bus carrying artistes of Bharati Gananatya, an opera party, was returning to Remta in Bargarh district from Deogarh when it fell into a gorge off the Tilaebani Gaelo ghat, Deogarh Superintendent of Police Sarah Sharma said.

Sharma said the police are ascertaining the cause of the accident.

Meanwhile, Odisha’s Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi sought a detailed report of the accident, vehicle and driver from Deogarh Regional Transport Officer (RTO).

“The RTO will probe the circumstances in which the accident happened, whether the bus has fitness certificate and the driver has valid licence. The RTO has been asked to submit report at the earliest,” said Majhi.

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