Eight people were killed and more than 70 injured when a KSRTC bus in which they were travelling plunged into Vishnusamudra tank on the outskirts of Belur in Hassan district on Tuesday morning.
Of the injured, 51 were admitted to Government Hospital in Hassan. Thirty-four were treated at Belur Taluk Hospital. There were 115 passengers, mostly schoolchildren, in the bus when the accident occurred. The bus was on its way to Belur from Sakleshpur.
The deceased were identified as Viviana Pinto, 19, a student; Kadegarje A Sowmya (Yashoda), 27; Venkatipete Thammannagowda, 65; Intitholalu Gopal, 35; Nandagowdanahalli Mohammed, 40; Arehalli Lokesh Naika, 30; Nagaraju, 45, of Singatagere hobli in Kadur taluk; and Vishwanath, 32, the conductor of the bus.
Harish, one of the severely injured passengers, is undergoing treatment in the ICU of Government Hospital, Hassan.
The driver lost control of the vehicle as the steering rod gave way when it was moving on the tank bund and the bus fell into the 20-foot water body. There was not much water in the tank.
Several passengers came out by breaking window panes. Many students travelling in the bus were rescued by their co-passengers. Police, ambulances, fire personnel and cranes rushed to the spot in no time as the place of accident was near the town.
Efforts to fish out bodies from the tank continued till evening amid rain. The police had a tough time managing onlookers.
Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy visited the hospitals in Hassan and Belur. He later told reporters that a compensation of Rs 3 lakh would be paid to the next of the kin of each of those who died in the accident. The department would bear the treatment costs of those injured in the accident.