Delhi-bound bus falls into drain on Yamuna Expressway, 29 killed, several injured

At least 29 people died and several got injured when an Awadh Depot Janrath bus, carrying 44 passengers from Lucknow to Anand Vihar (Delhi), fell off the Yamuna Expressway in Agra on early Monday morning. UP Police said in a tweet, “Awadh bus depot’s Janrath Expressway Roadways bus no UP33 AT5877 lost control on Yamuna Expressway and fell in ‘jharna nala’ near Kuberpur.”

According to police sources, the bus had started from the Alambagh bus station in Lucknow at 10 pm on Sunday and had crossed the Lucknow Expressway and Inner Ring Road by 3:30 am on Monday. Around 4:30 am, the driver apparently dozed off and lost control of the bus. The bus fell from a height of 50 feet into a “jharna nullah’.

Locals from the nearby Baghel Thar village were the first to know about the accident and reached the spot to help. They were able to safely extricate 20 passengers from the partially submerged bus. The police, who arrived later, took the passengers to the hospital in ambulances.

Senior officials of the district administration have rushed to the spot and the rescue operation is underway. Divers and excavators have been brought in for the rescue of injured passengers.

After two hours, bulldozers and cranes arrived at the scene and the bus was taken out of the drain and cut apart to pull out the remaining passengers. However, all of them had reportedly died by that time.

A total of 29 people, including a child and a woman, died in the accident and efforts are on to identify the bodies.

Agra District Magistrate NG Ravi Kumar told media, “The incident took place around 4:30 am. The driver probably dozed off and the speeding bus broke our barrier and fell into the drain. Search operations are underway.”

The injured people told police that the bus hit the railing of the expressway and went straight into the gorge. The officials are trying to ascertain if the driver of the bus survived the accident.

The Uttar Pradesh Roadways has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the deceased. UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has rushed to the spot to monitor the rescue operation.

UP CM has ordered an enquiry by a committee consisting of transport commissioner, divisional commissioner and IG Agra to investigate the incident within 24 hours and submit a report on the cause of the accident. A report has also been sought with long-term recommendations to avoid such accidents.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also condoled the death the passengers, saying, “Saddened to hear about the tragic loss of lives because of another bus accident, this time near Agra. My heartfelt condolences to the grieving families. I wish the injured a speedy recovery. Let us all follow #SafeDriveSaveLife.”

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