At least 21 people died and 55 others were injured when a bus packed with devotees returning from Ambaji temple in Banaskantha district in North Gujarat turned turtle after losing control in the Danta taluka of the district.
Officials said that among the 55 injured, the condition of four is extremely critical. Passengers were trapped under the bus that overturned, they said.
The mishap took place around 4.15pm when the private luxury bus, with more than 70 passengers, lost control at a sharp turn at Trishulia Ghat, a hilly patch on the Ambaji-Danta road near Ambaji town of Banaskantha district, around 160km from here. The driver lost control over the vehicle due to heavy rain in the area, Banaskantha district SP Ajit Rajian said.
“Twenty one persons… died after the vehicle overturned at Trishulia Ghat. The bus driver lost control due to heavy rain as the tyres slipped on the road when brakes were applied. We rescued 53 persons from the bus using a crane,” he said.
“The injured persons were taken to Palanpur Civil Hospital and a government hospital in Danta. The identities of the deceased are being ascertained,” said a police officer in Banaskantha. Of the 55 injured, 42 were admitted to the Civil Hospital in Palanpur.
“We have deployed more doctors at both the hospitals to treat the injured and carry out post-mortems. All the passengers were residents of Anklav village of Anand taluka and were returning after visiting Ambaji temple,” said District Collector Sandip Sagale, who rushed to Danta hospital.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr PR Lodhani, chief district medical officer of Banaskantha, said, “ All our medical staff and doctors are present at the civil hospital. We have also called all our specialist doctors to deal with the complications in the injuries. Four persons, including a woman, are being shifted to Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad as they are in extremely critical condition.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express his condolences. “Devastating news from Banaskantha. I am extremely pained by the loss of lives due to an accident. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. The local administration is providing all possible help to the injured. May they recover soon,” he tweeted.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Twitter, “Saddened by the loss of lives due to a road accident near Trisulia Ghat (On Danta road). Instructed officials to do needful. May those who have been injured recover at the earliest. I pray for the departed souls.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah who attended an event in Ahmedabad earlier in the day also took to Twitter to express condolences.