Panel Begins Probe Into Mahanadi Bridge Mishap

Cuttack: The three-member committee formed by the Commerce and Transport department on Thursday began its probe into the Mahanadi bridge mishap.

On November 20, 10 passengers were killed and 50 injured after a private bus fell off the bridge after hitting a buffalo.

According to sources, the three-member team led by the Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI) and two other members, including the IIC of Jagatpur police station and a senior official of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), went to the mishap site for an on-the-spot investigation.

Speaking to the media, an eyewitness had said that the ill-fated bus skidded off to the right side of the bridge as the front tyre burst after hitting a buffalo. The bus dangled on the wall for some time before falling off the bridge.

Also Read: Bus Falls Into Mahanadi, Seven Killed

On Wednesday, Jagatpur police registered a suo motu case against Khageswar Nayak, driver of the ill-fated bus, for reckless driving. The seriously injured driver is now undergoing treatment at the ICU of the SCB Medical College and Hospital here.

Sources in the Commerce and Transport department said that the NHAI had identified 209 black spots in the state, including the Mahanadi bridge as the most accident-prone areas and drivers are required adhere to the specified speed limit.

Going by the rules, questions are now being raised on how the bus, as stated by some witnesses, was travelling at 90-100 kmph on the bridge? Has the department put up speed detectors on the bridge and why no lighting arrangements made on both sides of the bridge?

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