Lucknow, May 27 (IANS) Nineteen people were confirmed dead after a bus from Farukkhabad to New Delhi fell into a canal in Etah late Sunday, police said Monday. The accident took place 265 km from Lucknow.
While eight bodies were fished out till early Monday, by noon 11 more bodies were recovered from the canal, taking the toll to 19.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh State Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs.50,000 to those killed in the accident and Rs.5,000 each to those injured.
Due to the strong current in the the Hazara canal, many passengers are feared to have been washed away.
Twenty-two passengers have been rescued by divers of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) from canal waters, police said.
“We are told that more than 58 passengers were travelling in the bus,” a senior official overseeing the rescue operations told IANS, adding that those injured said that the driver appeared drunk.
District Magistrate Lokesh M. told IANS that the condition of some passengers rescued from the Hazara canal continues to be critical.
“Search operations are on as we have not been able to locate missing passengers,” Lokesh said.
The injured passengers told police that the the bus driver was trying to overtake a truck near Pilua police station when he lost control of the vehicle, and it fell into the canal.
Home department officials said divers were trying to locate passengers who may be trapped in the canal. An official said identification of bodies would only be possible later in the day.