Six tourists from Orissa died in an accident on their way to Visakhapatnam by bus from Daringbari. Five of them were residents of Udaynarayanpur in Howrah. One was from Hooghly.
The bus overturned at Kalingaghati in the Ganjam district of Orissa on Tuesday night. At least 36 people were injured in the accident. Eight of them were admitted to Berhampur Hospital in Orissa with serious injuries. The deceased have been identified as Mausumi Dere (40), her daughter Rima Dere (22), Supriya Dere (35), Sanjit Patra (40), Barnali Manna (34), and Swapan Guchait (46), police said. Among them, Swapan’s house is in Jangipara of Hooghly. He went to work for the cooking job with that tourist group. The other five are from Sultanpur in Udaynarayanpur.
Words from the ministers
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted condolences over the incident. He also wished for a speedy recovery for the injured. The Prime Minister tweeted, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of life in a tragic accident in Orissa’s Ganjam district. My condolences to the bereaved family during this difficult time. I pray that the injured will get well soon.”
In a tweet, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the state administration was coordinating with Orissa government officials for a speedy autopsy of the dead, treatment of the injured, and their return. A high-level team led by the Chief Secretary’s rank officer, Disaster Management Team, and MLA from Udayanarayanpur are going to Orissa. According to local sources, the residents of four neighborhoods of the Sultanpur area of Udaynarayanpur formed a ‘society’ seven years ago to travel together. Members deposit money there regularly. Every year they go on a trip with that money. Most of the members are engaged in subsistence farming. Although they choose this time of year to travel every year due to low cultivation in May-June, they have not been able to go anywhere due to the corona pandemic of the last two years.
This time, as the Corona situation improved, the members of the society decided to visit several places, including Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, for 11 days. They rented a bus and left at around 2 pm on Monday. There were 77 people including the driver, evacuee, and cook’s assistant. The bus reached Daringbari in Orissa on Tuesday afternoon. After touring there, the bus left for Visakhapatnam at 8 pm. The accident happened around midnight. The bus overturned after hitting an electric pole at a bend in a hilly road, police sources said.
Orissa police and locals rescued the injured and rushed them to a hospital, where doctors declared six dead. Udaynarayanpur MLA Sameer Panja went to Sultanpur after hearing the news of the accident. He also said that arrangements are being made by the state government to bring the dead and injured.
Sultanpur was completely silent on Wednesday. The villagers are waiting to see when the bodies will return. There is also the question of how the injured are.
Aparna Dere, a member of the travel society, was also supposed to go on this tour. She did not go because of illness. She said, “We go for a tour with the hard-earned money. This year, four lakhs and twenty thousand rupees had been allocated for food and lodging. So many people have died while traveling. It is not acceptable.”