45 killed as bus plunges into canal

Sidhi, Feb 16 (PTI): At least 45 people, including 20 women, were killed when a packed bus skidded off the road and plunged into a canal in Madhya Pradesh’s Sidhi district on Tuesday morning, a senior official said.
The accident took place near Patna village, around 80 km from the Sidhi district headquarters, when the ill-fated bus was on its way to Satna from Sidhi, he said.
A search operation involving State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel and local authorities was still on at the site, the official said.
Rescuers have retrieved 45 bodies from the canal so far, said Rewa Divisional Commissioner Rajesh Jain, under whose jurisdiction the accident took place. “A total of 45 bodies – 24 of men, 20 women and a child – have been fished out of the Bansagar canal until now,” he said, adding a magisterial probe has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.
“Seven persons managed to swim to safety,” he said.
The packed bus, coming from Sidhi and going to Satna, veered off the road and rolled down the canal which is part of the Bansagar project at around 8:30 AM, said Inspector General (Rewa zone) Umesh Joga.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief at the “horrific” bus accident and approved an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those who lost their lives.

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