Barabanki: At least 18 people were killed and 25 injured after a truck rammed into a stationary double-decker bus here. The accident took place on the Lucknow-Ayodhya highway under Kotwali Ramsanehighat area late on Tuesday night. The private bus was carrying over 130 passengers to Bihar from Ludhiana in Punjab, the police said.
The axle of the bus broke down and it was parked on the road when a speeding truck coming from behind hit it, killing 18 people on the spot and injuring 25 others, the police said.
Some passengers were standing or resting outside the bus and others were sitting inside while waiting for the axle to be repaired when the incident took place, they said.
The victims, mostly labourers from Bihar, were returning home after sowing paddy in Punjab and Haryana, the police said.
Police rushed to the spot after receiving information about the accident and the rescue operation was carried out with the help of locals. The injured were rushed to a local hospital and from there those with serious injuries were referred to the trauma centre in Lucknow, Additional Director General of Police, Lucknow Zone, S N Sabat said.
It was raining heavily when the accident took place and this posed some problems in the rescue operation, he said.
Superintendent of Police Yamuna Prasad said families of the passengers can call on helpline number 9454417464 to enquire about them.
Those killed in the accident are from Bihar's Sitamarhi, Madhepura, Supaul and Saharsa districts, he said.
So far, he said, 12 of the deceased have been identified as Suresh Yadav (35), Indal Mahto (25), Sikandar Mukhiya (40), Monu Sahani (30), Jagdish Sahani (40), Jai Bahadur Sahani (40), Baijnathram (55), Balram Mandal (55), Santosh Singh (30), Bouwa (24), Naresh (37) and Akhilesh Mukhiya (30).
Efforts are on to ascertain the identity of the remaining victims, Prasad said.
He said nine critically injured passengers have been referred to the Lucknow trauma centre. They have been identified as Mithilesh (20), Suresh (35), Shambhu Sahani (35), Jogendra (45), Mishri Lal (50), Indal Sahani, Bhola Sahani (45), Shambhu (29) and Santosh (22).
In Lucknow, Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Awanish Awasthi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the accident and extended his condolences to the families of the deceased.
The CM has also expressed his condolences and directed the district magistrate and the superintendent of police of Barabanki to provide the best medical care to the injured and make proper arrangements for taking other passengers of the bus to their destinations, Awasthi said.
Modi has also announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund for the families of the deceased. The injured would be given Rs 50,000 each.
In a tweet, Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) president Mayawati also expressed grief over the deaths in the road accident.