By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, November 20, 2018: At least a dozen people, including three women were dead and several critically injured after a bus fell off Mahanadi bridge in Cuttack this afternoon, police said.

‘Jagannath’ – the ill-fated bus, carrying over 45 passengers, was on the way to Cuttack from Angul district this evening when accident took place. The bus had left Talcher at around 2.45 pm Tuesday.

The bus later fell into the water along with the driver who suffered injuries.

The bus driver lost control over the vehicle when trying to avoid hitting a bullock on the bridge and fell into the river after breaking the railing of the bridge, a witness told.

Being informed about the mishap, fire personnel were rushed to the spot and engaged in rescue operations and shifting the injured passengers.

Meanwhile, expressing shock and grief over the incident, chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the victims.

The CM also ordered to provide free treatment of the injured passengers at SCB Medical College and Hospital.

The district administration, fire brigade and police personnel were instructed to expedite the rescue operations.

Besides, Patnaik has directed Ministers Chandra Sarathi Behera and Pratap Jena to visit the accident site and monitor the situation.

The CM has also instructed the district administration and SCB Medical College and Hospital to provide quick and free treatment to all the injured passengers.

The death toll may go up as some of those injured are in a critical condition, according to local eyewitnesses.

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