30 Killed, 15 injured as Bus Falls Off Bridge in Odisha 

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced free treatment to the injured. “This is a tragic incident. The reason behind it will be probed,” said Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi. - Sakshi Post

Bhubaneswar: At least 30 persons were killed and over 15 injured when a bus fell off a bridge in Odisha’s Angul district on Friday. The tragedy took place near Puruna Manitri in Angul district when the bus driver lost control over the wheels. The bus fell off the bridge from a height of 50 feet. Angul Collector Anil Samal said the accident took place when the vehicle, carrying around 50 passengers, was on the way to Athmallik from Boudh. Director General of Police K.B. Singh said the injured have been admitted in different hospitals.

The tragedy took place near Puruna Manitri in Angul district when the bus driver lost control over the wheels. The bus fell off the bridge from a height of 50 feet. Angul Collector Anil Samal said the accident took place when the vehicle, carrying around 50 passengers, was on the way to Athmallik from Boudh.

“The driver has fled... All the passengers have been taken out of the vehicle,” said an official, Gopal Patnaik. Police and fire brigade launched rescue operation. The death toll is likely to go up, said one official. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced free treatment to the injured. “This is a tragic incident. The reason behind it will be probed,” said Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi.

2,297 killed by lightning in Odisha in 7 years

Odisha people are getting killed in large numbers by what is perhaps the most unpredictable natural phenomenon, lightning. In the last seven years lightning has killed 2,297 persons in the state, a figure which is much higher than the deaths caused by other natural calamities.On average, in these past seven years, 327 persons died of lightening strikes in Odisha every year, according to a report by the Special Relief Commissioner. This year alone, 284 persons have so far been killed by lightning, the report said. Of them, 56 persons died in lightning strikes in four days in the first week of August. Most of the victims are farmers in rural areas.

“The problem with lightning is that it cannot be predicted, which makes it all the more challenging to issue timely warnings. We have decided to issue an advisory to districts about what to do and not to do during lightning strikes,” said Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra, the Special Relief Commissioner. While there is no preventive solution that can be offered, Mohapatra has proposed sensitising people by issuing advertisements in newspapers.

“Lightning has been declared as a ‘state disaster’. As per the norms, Rs 4 lakh per deceased will be paid by the government as ex-gratia,” said Mohapatra. While 281 persons were killed due to lightning in 2010-11, 355 were killed in 2011-12, 293 in 2012-13 and 372 in 2013-14. The death toll was 308 in 2014-15, 399 in 2015-16 and 284 in 2016-17 (as on August 20), said the report.

Source: IANS

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