Panaji: Four children were among six persons
killed today when a school bus plunged into a river in Aldona
village near here.
Bodies of Priyal Salgaoncar (10), Diana Dias (8), Elvina
Dias (11) and Nigel Gracias (10) along with Josephine Dias
(58) and Dayanand Hoble (55) were fished out from Kalvi river,
Deputy Inspector General of Police Ravindra Yadav said, adding
the mishap ccurred at 12.20 PM when the bus of St Thomas Girls
High School from Aldona was taking the children home.
The driver and conductor escaped unhurt as they jumped out
from the vehicle which fell into the river next to a wharf, 15
km from here, while all of its other occupants got trapped and
drowned, police said.
Police have arrested the bus driver and owner Rajesh Naik
on charges of culpable homicide. "Naik in his preliminary
statement has claimed that brakes of the bus failed resulting
in the mishap," Yadav said.
The state government has ordered a magisterial inquiry
into the incident.
Search is on for body of another woman who was in the bus
at the time of the mishap, he said.
The rescue teams of local police, Marine police,
Indian Navy and Indian Coast guard were rushed to the spot
immediately after the accident.
The bus was pulled out of water almost one-and-a-half
hours after the incident using a mechanical crane, Yadav said.
Indian Navy had pressed three Chetak helicopters and a
team of 10 divers to the spot, while locals have also joined
in the rescue operation.