Tragic bus accident in Odisha: Police picks up OSRTC driver from Bhubaneswar, probe on

Digapahandi: A team of Ganjam Police with the help of Commissionerate Police-Bhubaneswar today picked up the driver of the OSRTC bus from the State Capital for questioning in connection with Digapahandi road mishap in the district where at least 12 persons were killed.

A source said that based on an FIR lodged with Digapahandi police, the team is interrogating the driver. The driver was picked up by Bharatpur police from a government depot in Khandagiri locality.

However, a private bus involved in the tragic accident in Odisha’s Ganjam district lacked the requisite permit and insurance documents, said Ganjam regional transport officer (RTO) Manas Sahu.

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Furthermore, an eyewitness said that axle of the 25-year-old bus was in dilapidated condition.

According to a source, the ill-fated vehicle was registered on 26 March 1998 and its fitness is valid up to 24 November 2023. However, the insurance of the bus has expired as it was valid till 13 April 2023.

Twelve persons of a marriage party were killed and several others sustained grievous injuries as the private bus carrying them collided head-on with OSRTC bus near Digapahandi on Berhampur-Taptapani road in Ganjam district, late last night.

Berhampur SP Saravana Vivek M confirmed that seven others were injured in the accident.

The 12 deceased include seven members of a family and their relatives, all of whom were returning to Khandadeuli near Digapahandi after attending a wedding party in Berhampur.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed profound grief over the lives lost in this devastating road accident. In response, he announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 3 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, along with free medical treatment for the injured persons.

Expressing grief over the tragic bus mishap, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 for each injured victim.

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