In a tragic incident, at least 40 tourists were injured, six of them critically, when the bus in which they were travelling overturned in Dhauli hills area near West Bengal on Tuesday morning.
"The mishap took place when the vehicle carrying around 65 tourists from Midnapore area of West Bengal lost balance and turned turtle", said Khurda District Collector Niranjan Sahu who visited the Capital Hospital where the passengers were admitted.
"The injured persons included four children and around 15 women. Six of them with critical injuries were shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack", doctors at the hospital said.
"A special team of eight doctors was formed to ensure proper treatment of the injured tourists, while over 40 nurses were also engaged", they said.
"On getting information, police and fire brigade personnel reached the site to undertake rescue and relief operations, Deputy Fire Officer", R C Majhi said.
"Around 25 personnel from the striking force of the fire services and other staff were sent to the spot for the operation. The injured were rescued and sent to the hospital", he said.
Collector Sahu said, "necessary arrangements have also been made to transport the other tourists in the bus."
"Those wanting to stay back to look after the injured are being provided necessary facilities like accommodation and food", he said.
State Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Panda, who visited the Capital Hospital to see the injured tourists, said: "all steps have been taken to provide them proper treatment."
"The exact reason for the accident is yet to be ascertained", police said.
BY M. DIVYA SRI