Bus accident in India kills at least 17 people

A bus fell off a bridge in India after the drunk bus driver fell asleep, leaving at least 17 people dead and 40 others injured.

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Bus travel is dangerous in India, with a total of 131,834 people dying on the road in 2011.

At least 17 people were killed and 40 others were injured, after a bus fell off a bridge in central Chhattisgarh district of India on Wednesday.

The bus was on its way from Jharkhand state to Chhattisgarh's capital Raipur city with 66 people onboard when the accident happened on Tuesday.

The bus driver spotted a motorcycle at a sharp cut and lost control of the vehicle while trying to save the bikers.

The bus fell off the bridge and then overturned three times.

Fourteen people died on the spot and three others in hospital.

Some injured people were carried to nearby hospitals by police while those seriously injured were airlifted to Raipur for treatment.

State Chief Minister Raman Singh visited the hospital in Raipur and met the victims.

"The driver was drunk and fell asleep in the bus. We woke him up a number of times and asked him to drive carefully, but he didn't pay any heed. When he finally woke up and started driving, the accident took place," said Sharad Tiwari who was injured in the accident.

India has the world's deadliest roads, the result of a flood of untrained drivers, inadequate law enforcement, badly maintained highways and cars that fail modern crash tests.

According to the Indian government data, a life is lost every 3.7 minutes due to road accidents, adding to 1.2 million deaths a year globally.

TRTWorld and agencies