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20 die in 4 Indian accidents

Published : Saturday, 13 January, 2018 at 4:39 PM Count : 131

At least 20 people were killed in separate accidents in Indian states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Rajsthan on Saturday.


A boat carrying 40 school children capsized in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Dahanu in western Indian state of Maharashtra.


“Thirty-two children have been rescued so far and the rest are still missing,” a local police official said.


Local TV channels, however, reported that four school children died. But there has been no official confirmation on the death toll so far.


The Indian Coast Guard has diverted ships and pressed an aircraft and two choppers into rescue operations, the official said.


“Overloading is said to be the cause of the mishap. A probe has been ordered,” he added.


Meanwhile, at least four people were killed and three others went missing after a civilian helicopter carrying them crashed in Maharashtra.


The chopper with seven people on board went missing Saturday, minutes after take-off from the Juhu airport in Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra.


“Our rescue teams have recovered four bodies and the search for others is underway,” a spokesman for the Indian Coast Guard said.


Officials said the Pawan Hans helicopter carrying seven persons, five officials from oil and natural gas corporation (ONGC) and two pilots, took off at 10:20 a.m. local time and lost communication with the air traffic control (ATC) Mumbai after 15 minutes.


Following the loss of contact with the ATC, the Indian Coast Guard officials and the Navy pressed in rescue teams to search for the missing chopper.


The chopper was thought to be flying around 55 km off the Mumbai shoreline when it lost communication.


“Five ships and two aircrafts are engaged in extensive search operation in the area for the missing ones in the ill-fated aircraft,” the spokesman said.


Authorities have also located the debris of the crashed chopper.


Of the four bodies recovered so far, one has been identified as that of Pankaj Garg, a top official of ONGC.


The helicopter was flying to the ONGC’s Bombay High oilfields, 175 km northwest of Mumbai.


The cause of helicopter crash was not immediately known.


Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited is a government-owned company and provides chopper services for off-shore operations, connecting inaccessible areas, VIP transportation, pilgrim services and promotion of tourism.


In Karnataka, at least eight people were killed and more than 10 others injured after a passenger bus fell off a pidge into a pond in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.


The accident occurred near Karekere on national highway 75 in the state’s Hassan district, some 250 km from Karnataka capital Bengaluru.


“The state-owned bus carrying 50 people, including a driver and a conductor, plunged into the pond after peaking the railing of the bridge this morning when its driver lost control of the speeding vehicle,” a senior police official said.


While eight people, including two women, died on the spot, those injured have been admitted to a nearby hospital, he said. “The driver also died in the accident,” the official added.


The bus was on its way to Dharmastala from Bengaluru when the incident took place.


Preliminary probe revealed that the accident happened due to the negligence of the bus driver, the official said. “Anyway, we will wait for the final probe report after considering the eye-witness accounts of local residents,” he added.


In Rajasthan, at least five members of a family were charred to death Saturday in a devastating.


The fire poke out in Jaipur city, the capital of Rajasthan.


“Early today at around 4:00 a.m. (local time) in a tragic fire incident five members of a family were killed,” a police official said. “The fire poke out inside a house at Vidhyanagar locality.”


Locals said they heard a sound of cylinder blast, which probably could have triggered the fire.


Police and fire service officials reached the spot soon after being informed by locals.


“Preliminary investigations reveal the fire was triggered due to the blast of domestic gas cylinder,” a police official said. “We assume there was leak in the gas cylinder and some of the inmates might have switched on the light or power plug, causing the spark to trigger fire and blast in house.”


According to officials it took around three hours for the firefighters to contain the fire from spreading in adjacent area.





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