Panaji: At least six
people, including four school children and two women escorting
them, were drowned Saturday after their bus fell into a river in Goa, police said. Bodies of four victims were recovered and the
bus driver was arrested.
Police said the bodies of four people, including three students of
St. Thomas Girls High School, Aldona, were fished out of the Calvi
river, 30 km from here.
The bodies were identified as Priyal Salgaonkar, 10, Diana Dias,
8, Elvina Dias, 11, and Josephine Dias, 58.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Ravinder Yadav said police and
naval divers were still searching for the two missing people -
Nigella Gracias, 11, and Dayanand Hoble, 55. Earlier, conflicting
figures were given by police over the number of victims.
"The search operation has been suspended after sunset and will
resume Sunday," he said.
"Driver Rajesh Naik was initially absconding. After he was
arrested, he said that there were six persons on board," Yadav
Police said the driver claimed that the accident occurred after
the vehicle's brakes failed and the vehicle rolled into the river
off a ferry ramp.
Chief Minister Digambar Kamat announced an ex-gratia amount of
Rs.2 lakh to the kin of the deceased and also announced the
cancellation of carnival parades in Goa.
Minutes later, a government statement clarified that only the
inaugural carnival parade at Panaji Saturday was cancelled, while
the decision on allowing other parades in other towns of Goa would
be taken later.
The Goa church has also condoled the deaths of students of the
"The church in Goa expresses its sadness for the tragedy that took
place at Calvim, where a bus carrying passengers plunged into the
river... we offer condolences to the bereft families and express
solidarity with them in this moment of great loss," said
spokesperson for the church Fr. Francisco Caldeira.
Goa Governor K Sankaranarayanan has also expressed "shock and
grief" over the deaths.