Bus plunges into canal; 39 dead | Daily News

Bus plunges into canal; 39 dead

Onlookers stand along a canal as rescue teams search for survivors after a bus plunged into a canal killing at least 39 passengers in the Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh State on Tuesday. - AFP
Onlookers stand along a canal as rescue teams search for survivors after a bus plunged into a canal killing at least 39 passengers in the Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh State on Tuesday. - AFP

INDIA: Thirty-nine people were killed Tuesday when a bus plunged into a deep canal in the central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh, officials said, with seven others managing to swim to safety.

The accident happened when the bus, which was carrying more than 50 passengers, veered off a bridge and crashed into the 30-feet (9.1-metre) deep canal in Sidhi district early on Tuesday morning.

Local media reported the bus was completely submerged, and images showed officials in orange life jackets using rescue boats to look for survivors.

Officials said the driver and six others swam to safety. Several other people remain missing.

The Times of India newspaper quoted sources saying it took three hours to lift the vehicle out.

Images showed bodies lined up on the banks of the canal as distraught relatives hugged each other and cried.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office tweeted that the families of those killed in the "horrific" accident would receive 200,000 rupees ($2,750) in compensation.

"The entire state is standing with those affected," Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in a video message.

In 2019 more than 150,000 people died -- 410 every day or 17 an hour -- in almost half a million accidents, according to the Government.

The United States sees nearly five times more accidents than India every year but the number of deaths in India is four times higher, according to the Times of India.

- AFP