At least 29 people were killed and 23 others injured when an Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation bus plunged 40 feet into a drain between two flyovers after breaking through the safety railing near Agra on Monday. The two-tiered AC sleeper bus was cruising at a high speed when it crashed at Etmadpur, 4 km from Agra. It fell upside down into a drain, which had about six-eight feet water. “Prima facie, it appears that the driver fell asleep at the wheel. The bus was speeding, which caused it to jump off the flyover's railing,” Agra district magistrate N G Ravi Kumar said. The driver was among those killed.
The bus with 52 passengers and two crew members was heading to Delhi from Lucknow. The Yamuna Expressway is one of the most modern roads in the country but the high-speed stretch is also notorious for its fatal crashes. A total of 944 deaths have been reported on the expressway since it was commissioned in August 2012.
Expressing grief over the tragedy, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced an ex-gratia of Rs 500,000 to the kin of the passengers killed in the accident. He also ordered that an investigating committee, comprising the transport commissioner, divisional commissioner and IG (Agra range), be set up to probe the accident and submit it report to the state government. On his instructions, deputy CM Dinesh Sharma and state transport minister Swatantra Dev Singh rushed to Agra and met the injured in hospitals.