The death toll in the bus accident in Madhya Pradesh’s Sidhi district has gone up to 49 with the recovery of two more bodies on Wednesday morning, police said.
On Tuesday, bodies of 47 people, including 20 women and two children, were recovered after the packed private bus skidded off the road and plunged into a water-filled canal in Sidhi.
The rescue operations, which were halted late on Tuesday night, resumed on Wednesday morning and two more bodies were retrieved from the canal, which is part of the Bansagar dam project, Sidhi’s Additional Superintendent of Police Anjulata Patle said.
She said out of the two bodies, one was recovered from a part of the canal falling under Govindgarh police station limits in the adjoining Rewa district, about 10km from the accident site.
“So far, 49 bodies have been found. The search operation is continuing in the canal in Sidhi and Rewa (over a stretch of 25km) as around five more people are suspected to be missing,” she said.
Nearly 600 personnel, including from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and local authorities, from five districts are engaged in the rescue operation since Tuesday morning, officials said.
The accident took place on Tuesday morning near Patna village, around 80km from the Sidhi district headquarters, when the bus was on its way to Satna from Sidhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday 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.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a separate ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.
Chouhan on Tuesday said he ordered to stop the water outflow from the Bansagar dam, so that water level in the canal could go down and help in the rescue operation.