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Buses collide on highway, nine dead

At least nine persons were killed and 20 left injured when two long-distance buses collided head-on near Jodhauli Karnpura on Sunday morning.

According to witnesses, the drivers of the high-speed express buses — one was coming from Ranchi on way to Siwan (BR-29G 4837) and the other going from Gopalganj to Patna (BR-04J 9970) — got confused to give way to a fodder-laden small truck and lost control to ram into each other on state highway 73 around 7am.

Security personnel from nearby Marhaurrah police station rushed to the spot, which is about 27km north of Chhapra and 65km northwest of Patna.

Six persons, including a woman of the Patna-bound bus, died on the spot while two others died on way to Chhapra sadar hospital. Another person is said to have succumbed on way to Patna.

Superintendent of police Barun Kumar Sinha told PTI soon after the accident: “Six persons died on the spot at Karnpura village this morning.”

The deceased persons have been identified as Niharika (21), daughter of Dharmnath Sharma, BSNL’s retired divisional engineer Rajendra Upadhyaya (76), Santosh Manjhi (32), son Mokhtar Manhji, Arvind Kumar Singh (30), Brajesh Kumar (35), Mohammad Kasim. Naimuddin of Revati village and another unknown person died on way to Chhapra sadar hospital.

Another person is reported to have succumbed on way to Patna.

Niharika, said to be the sister of Bhojpur deputy development commissioner, had her marriage fixed in the recent future.

At least 18 people have been admitted to Chhapra sadar hospital with serious injuries and some of them have been referred to Patna for advanced treatment.

Long-distance buses are quite popular — both with the commuters and businessmen alike — in the region to connect to far-off places like Ranchi.

These buses, with a provision to sleep in the upper deck, usually start in the previous evening so that people can reach their destination early in the morning.

Local villagers alleged that the sub-divisional officer reached two hours after the accident.

The police reached there with ambulance about an hour after the accident, they alleged. However, the police officers have denied this allegation.

Soon after the accident, Amnour MLA Krishna Kumar Mantu and Marhaurah MLA Jitendra Rai reached Marhaurah hospital around noon and consoled the families of the deceased. Both the MLAs extended their help monetarily and arranged for medicines.

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