At least eight persons were killed and about 35 others injured Tuesday when a mini-truck carrying them skidded off the road and fell into a gorge in the forested area of Odisha’s Kandhamal district, a senior police officer said.
Around 10 am, about 50-60 people were on the way to Brahmanigaon village from Suluma area in the district to participate in a church programme when the driver lost control of the mini-truck, which then slipped down the Poiguda Ghat, near Baliguda, in the district, the officer said.
“At least eight people, including a woman and a girl, died on the spot. The injured were first taken to nearby Brahmanigaon government hospital, where the doctors suggested that those with critical injuries be shifted to MKCG Medical College Hospital in Berhampur,” he said.
A team of doctors from the district headquarters has reached Brahmanigaon to provide emergency treatment, while five ambulance vans have been engaged to shift the seriously injured to MKCG, the officer said.
“As of now, police officers, forest personnel, along with local people, are carrying out the rescue operation. Kandhamal Collector Brundha D and Superintendent of Police Prateek Singh have rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the family members of the eight who died in the accident. Patnaik also directed the officials to provide free treatment to the injured.