Is Mobile Phone Misuse Again The Reason For Angul Bus Accident?

**Angul**: “The bus accident occurred when the driver bent down to pick up his mobile phone and a bike came in front of it creating a head-on collision on the bridge. This resulted in the falling down of the bus from the bridge,” according to Subhadra Behara, an eyewitness to this accident as she was just behind the driver.

“People were overcrowded and packed in the bus. The bus did not slow down even on the bridge and was speeding when the collision with the bike occurred. We fell down from the bridge and people were over one another,” revealed Surendra Mukhi, a passenger of the ill-fated bus, Janhamamu, which met with an accident on Tuesday.

In a tragic accident, six persons were killed and 36 injured when a bus fell off a bridge in Angul district on Tuesday.

This is the second such incident in the district. On 9th of Sept a similar accident had taken place near Athamallick in which 19 passengers lost their lives.

“It was an unfortunate incident. 35 patients were shifted to SCB, Cuttack for treatment. Two persons have died and the rest are undergoing treatment. The State Government will bear the cost of their treatment. CM Naveen Patnaik has announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 2 lakhs to the kin of the deceased,” informed Pradip Amat, the new Health Minister.

“35 patients, out of which 20 are males, 15 are females. Two were brought dead. Out of the 33 under treatment, 2 are children. The condition of one child is critical and now is in ICU. The other child has minor injuries. Most of the patients have fractures, head injuries, and are under observation. ,”informed Bhubananada Maharana, Emergency Officer.
The dead male person has been identified as Itesh Sahoo, whereas the female is yet to be identified.
Meanwhile, a group of around 40-50 activists of an NGO “Juva Shakti’ have gheraoed the RTO’s office and are alleging that he should be suspended.
“The RTO is a corrupt person. He issued fake fitness certificates to the buses which have resulted in both the accidents. He should be removed from his post,” said Parshuram Das, General Secretary of the NGO.

Briefing to the media, Ramesh Majhi, Transport Minister, Odisha said, “Our department will discuss about the places that are prone to accidents with the officials of National Highway. We will also discuss about the steps to be taken to avoid accidents. Drivers’ presence of mind is also very important to avoid such accidents. Toll free numbers have been given to the buses, in case if the buses are overloaded commuters can inform us about it. Stern action will be taken against the bus driver.”

A 3-member probe committee has submitted a report to Angul Collector Anil Samal.