The District Magistrate of Motihari on Friday said that all passengers on board the ill-fated bus which met with an accident a day earlier, were safe and that initial reports of 27 deaths were due to rumour mongering.
Raman Kumar told Zee Bihar that there were 13 passengers on board the Delhi-bound bus at the time when it met with an accident. He said all of them were safe and are receiving treatment at a local hospital. He further said that a team of NDRF and FSL have been investigating the site of the accident and have not found any dead body. “In the initial hurry and confusion, locals believed rumours that were doing the rounds,” he said.
Rumours though may not be blamed solely.
Bihar Disaster Management Minister Dinesh Chandra Yadav himself had initially confirmed 27 deaths in the accident. He had also elaborated on a provision to give compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the family of each victim. He then retracted his statement later in the day. “Yes, I said 27 people have died, it was based on info from local sources, but I also said that only final report will be considered,” he had said.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar too had expressed anguish and had promised help to families of those who had died.
The bus was bound for Delhi from Muzaffarpur when it went off the road and overturned due to a large pothole. The accident happened near Kotwa Police Station on National Highway No. 28 in the Motihari district, according to reports.
Some of the confusion related to the ‘deaths’ could also have come from the fact that while 32 people had booked tickets, only 13 had boarded and others scheduled to be picked from subsequent stops.