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Three persons are still trapped inside the bus and efforts are on to rescue them using metal cutters

Seven persons were killed and more than 40 were seriously injured when a passenger bus fell into a water-filled ditch near Palukhola at Taptapani ghat road under Patapur police station limits of Odisha’s Ganjam district early on Wednesday.

The bus, carrying 50 passengers including women and children, was travelling to Berhampur from Tikri in Rayagada district. According to eyewitnesses and victims, brake failure led to the bus skidding off a culvert and falling into the ditch.

Receiving information about the accident, police and fire service personnel rushed to the spot. According to Sub-Divisional Police Officer Suryamani Pradhan, seven bodies were recovered and three persons were still trapped inside the bus. Efforts were on to rescue them using metal cutters. Two dead women have been identified as Bidyut Nayak of Rayagada and Jhunu Behera of Kutamgarh.

Four fire brigade teams from Berhampur, Digaphandi, Sanakhemundi and Mohana are involved in the rescue operation. All ambulances of Berhampur and areas near the spot of accident have been mobilised to shift the injured to the MKCG medical college and hospital in Berhampur. The injured are being provided initial treatment at Digapahandi Community Health Centre. Till now, around 15 seriously injured persons have been admitted in the medical college hospital.

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