Patna, Sep 19: At least 35 people are feared to be dead in Bihar, where a a 5-seat bus fall into a roadside pond. The accident took place in Madhubani district. Superintendent of Police Nirmala Kumari has confirmed that four bodies have been recovered. According to Kumari, the bus was travelling from Sitamarhi to Madhubani. On its way at the State Highway 52, the bus lost its balance near the Sundarpur tola near Basaith chowk on Benipatti-Pupri road and fell into the roadside pond.

One of the eye witnesses while speaking to a news channel claimed that no one had come out alive from the pond. The villagers of Madhubani have accused the administration of not responding to the accident in a prompt manner. The villagers claim that rescue team arrived at least an hour later, despite being alerted. The massive delay in initiating the rescue operation could be the reason for the deaths of those who were in the bus. Almost all the passengers are expected to be dead due to drowning.

Villagers are firm that none of the passengers would be alive by now. They expressed their anguish against the district administration and even raised slogans against them. Bihar government has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to all the victims. The compensation amount would be handed over to the kin of victims.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has expressed sorrow over the incident. Apart from announcing compensation, he also instructed Revenue minister Madan Mohan Jha and Panchayati Raj minister Kapildeo Kamat to reach the spot and take stock of the situation. The government had earlier dispatched the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to catalyze the rescue operation. The bodies recovered would be handed over to the family members of the victims.

Nitish Kumar has also assured that government would probe the reason behind the accident. The gruesome incident has raised a severe question on the safety of infrastructure in Bihar, as well as the standard of public transportation.