Monday, September 20, 2021

18 killed after truck crashes into broken-down bus in India

Police said the bus probably broke down because it had about 140 passengers when its capacity was just 65.

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At least 18 migrant workers have died after a truck crashed into their bus in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Their 1,300km-long journey from Haryana to their home state of Bihar was cut short when the bus broke down in Barabanki district.

Some of the workers were still in the bus while others were sleeping next to it when the accident happened in the early hours of Wednesday.

Police told the BBC that the bus was “overloaded beyond its capacity”.

Yamuna Prasad, superintendent of police in Barabanki, said some of the passengers decided to sleep next to the bus while the driver went to look for a mechanic to fix the vehicle.

“It’s an unfortunate incident. The bus probably broke down because it had about 140 passengers when its capacity was just 65. We are assisting the families,” he said.

Prasad said the bus had no openable windows because it was air-conditioned. So when the bus broke down, the aircon also stopped. This forced some of the passengers to get down from the stifling heat and sleep on the road.

At least 30 people, some of whom are critically injured, have been admitted to hospitals in Barabanki.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences and announced 200,000 rupees (US$2,686) as compensation for the families of the victims, and 50,000 rupees for those who were injured.

People from Bihar often go to more prosperous states like Haryana and Delhi to find work.

Migrant workers often use trains and buses, cheap modes of transport in India, to go home when they get a break from work.

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