NEW DELHI: At least 29 people were killed when the bus in which they were travelling in skidded off the six-lane Yamuna Expressway near Delhi and fell 50 feet into a large drain. More than One dozen people were injured.
The incident took place at about 4:30 am on Monday morning. The deceased include a 15-year-old girl and a child.
The Awadh Depot bus of the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Roadways, which was on its way to Noida from Noakhali, first hit the railing of the expressway and then went straight into the gorge, which the police attributed to the driver being sleep-deprived.
Soon after the mishap, the injured have been rushed to the nearby government hospital and are undergoing treatment. A search operation is also underway to rescue the survivors and the bodies of the deceased. Divers and excavators have been brought in for the operation. It was Chowki in-charge Anirudh, who first reached the spot and started retrieving the injured passengers with the help of others.
Agra District Magistrate (DM) Ravi Kumar NG and Aligarh SSP Bablu Kumar are currently present at the spot and taking stock of the situation.
The Uttar Pradesh Roadways has announced Rs. 5 lakh compensation for the families of those who died in the accident.
“Saddened by the news of Yamuna Expressway bus accident. Have spoken to Yogi Adityanath. He has directed Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma and Minister of State for Transport Swatantra Dev Singh to reach the site of accident. UP BJP General Secretary Pankaj Singh has also left for the spot. Express my condolences to the families of those who died and wish for speedy recovery of injured,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted.
Road safety experts have long warned the dangers of speeding on the wide expressway, especially in early morning hours and night.
Last week, the Uttar Pradesh government said drivers will have to pay a fine for speeding if they covered the 302 km-stretch from the Lucknow toll plaza to Agra in less than three hours.