No Fault With Bus, Brakes Not Applied; Driver’s Negligence Led To Jajpur Bus Accident: Official

Jajpur: The bus accident, which claimed five lives and left over 30 injured, in Odisha’s Jajpur district is suspected to have occurred due to negligence of its driver.

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Speaking to media on Tuesday, Additional Commissioner Transport/(Road Safety), Lal Mohan Sethi, said that the bus was in a good condition, having been registered in 2020. The fitness certificate was also issued in March. “The accident could have occurred either due to rash driving or while overtaking a vehicle from the left side or the driver might have got distracted by a phone call. It is still not clear as of yet,” he said.

“The driver didn’t apply brakes, resulting in the severity of the accident,” he added.

Sethi further said that there was no engineering deficiency. “As five persons have died in the accident, a criminal case will be filed against him. Exemplary action will be taken after investigation to prevent a recurrence,” he added.

The accident took place around 9 pm on Monday when the bus, which was en route to Kolkata from Puri, swerved off the bridge on National Highway-16 in Jajpur district’s Barabati area and plunged onto the service road.

The Odisha Fire and Emergency Service personnel, police and Transport department officials rushed to the spot to rescue the injured. Sixteen ambulances and two advanced life saving ambulances were engaged to shift the injured passengers from the site. Five cranes were also pressed into service to lift the bus and manage the traffic.

Passengers, who sustained serious injuries, were taken to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack in eight ambulances last night and 5 among them were admitted to the ICU. Those with minor injuries were treated at Badachana community health centre.

Most of the passengers are believed to be tourists and natives of neighbouring West Bengal.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced Rs 3 lakh ex-gratia for the kin of each deceased and free treatment to the injured.

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