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At least 36 dead as bus plunges off bridge in WB

At least 36 dead as bus plunges off bridge in WB

The bus was going from Shikarpur in Nadia district to Malda.

At least 36 people, including 10 women, were killed when a state roadways bus fell into the Ghogra canal breaking the railing of a bridge in Murshidabad district on Monday, the police said.

Civilians started assaulting officials and attacking police vans in irritation for their late arrival.

Police lobbed teargas shells and baton-charged the protesters. The state government announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 compensation to the injured.

Primary investigations suggest the driver lost control of the vehicle, the police said. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem at Murshidabad Medical College. The rescued passengers alleged that the accident took place due to the negligence of the driver.

Hundreds of villagers as well as anxious relatives of the passengers gathered on the canal banks as four cranes were pressed into service to fish out the bus submerged in the water.

Murshidabad district magistrate P Ulaganathan said that 25 bodies have been identified so far.

Nine injured passengers were admitted to BMCH.

Sources revealed that forensic tests would be undertaken to determine whether the there was any technical glitch that might have caused the accident.

Meanwhile, NDTV quoted Transport Minister Subhendu Adhikari as saying: "We have no confirmation of the number of people in the bus when it plunged into the water.Some are saying 25, others 50".

Expressing grief over the accident, West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi today urged people to join the Safe Drive, Save Life campaign of the state government. There were also claims that the driver was speaking on his mobile phone.

"We had completed handing over the bodies to family members by midnight", she said, referring to the 36 bodies pulled out yesterday.

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