MP bus accident: Army's help sought to trace 3 missing persons

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Sidhi, Feb 18 (PTI) Two days after a bus plunged into a canal at Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh killing 51 people, three passengers are still missing and the Army's help has been sought to locate them, a district official said on Thursday.

An over three-km-long tunnel in the canal, where oxygen supply is low, is going to be searched for the missing persons, Sidhi Collector Ravindra Kumar Choudhary told PTI.

'Experts are required for the search. An Army team from Jabalpur is shortly going to join the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to find the three missing persons,' he said.

Asked how many people were there in the 32-seater bus when it met with the accident on Tuesday, the official said the vehicle was carrying 61 people, including the driver.

Fifty one bodies have so far been recovered and seven people, including the driver, have been rescued.

The bus driver was arrested on Wednesday, the official said.

He said the bus was overcrowded as more than 40 passengers were going to neighbouring Satna to appear for some exams.

The accident took place on Tuesday morning near Patna village, about 80 km from the Sidhi district headquarters, when the bus heading from Sidhi to Satna fell into the canal, which is part of the Bansagar dam project.

The bus had diverted from its permitted route to avoidtraffic jams, sources earlier said.

On Wednesday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met families of the victims and offered condolences. PTI LAL GK GK