Chandigarh: Eight passengers died after a private bus carrying around 35 people fell into the Sirhind feeder canal in Muktsar district on Tuesday, officials said.
The incident took place near Jhabelwali village on the Muktsar-Kotkapura road after the bus skidded off the road when brakes were applied, they said, adding it was raining at the time of the incident.
A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been called for the rescue operation. The bus was going from Muktsar to Kotkapura. According to Muktsar Deputy Commissioner Ruhee Dugg, it is feared that some passengers might have been swept away by the strong current of water in the canal. Efforts are on to locate them, Dugg said.
The deputy commissioner said the bus has been taken out of the canal with the help of a crane and some injured passengers have been shifted to a hospital.
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Dugg said according to the bus operator, the total number of passengers in the bus could be around 35.
After the accident took place, villagers came forward to rescue the passengers.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said teams of district administration were on the spot, adding that he was getting regular updates about the rescue operation.