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Ghat Accident Probe Ordered 

State Government has ordered a probe into the bus accident on Kalinga Ghat on Ganjam-Kandhamal district link road, in which six tourists from West Bengal killed and over 40 injured.

The Ghat has turned into an accident spot as bus accidents were reported there during the past two/three years. Earlier, during Covid-19 pandemic period, two buses carrying migrant labourers were met with accidents on the Kalinga Ghat.    

Expressing concern over the issue, State Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said he has ordered a probe into the bus mishap.

“We have seen in the past also, buses from other states met with accidents in the Kalinga Ghat as the drivers don’t have experience driving buses in such a long ghat area. So, we will issue an advisory to buses coming from other states to choose alternative routes,” Behera said.

The tourist bus from West Bengal was heading towards Visakhapatnam after the tourists from Udaynarayanpur area in Howrah district of West Bengal visited Daringbadi in Kandhamal district. Over 70 persons were onboard in the bus.

The bus driver said that the mishap occurred due to the brake failure of the vehicle. “We left Daringbadi at around 7.30 PM and had our dinner before the Kalinga ghat. While coming down from the ghat around 11.30 PM, suddenly the brake failed and I alerted all passengers. After heating several electric poles, the bus overturned,” said the diver, who also sustained injury in the mishap.      

Soon after receiving the information, local police teams and fire service personnel rushed to the spot and started the rescue operation. The rescue operation continued till Wednesday morning, the police said.

As per latest report, six persons identified as Supriya Denre, Sanjeet Patra, Rima Denre, Mausumi Denra, Barnali Manna and Swapan Gushait killed in the mishap.

The injured were admitted to a local hospital at Bhanjanagar for treatment. Among them, 15 were shifted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur due to their critical health condition.

“The patients have been admitted in surgery and orthopaedic departments. Excluding one woman who got head injury, the health condition of others is stable till now. A dedicated team of doctors are treating the patients,” said an official of MKCG Medical College.  

Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed condolences towards the deceased in the road mishap.

“Our administration is coordinating with Odisha officials for speedy treatment for the injured, postmortem of the dead. Rushing a high-level team led by Principal Secretary, Disaster Management and MLA Udaynarayanpur to Odisha,” Mamata tweeted.