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4 bodies found, 3 missing: MP bus mishap toll now 51

The body of five-month-old Somya Singh was found floating on Wednesday morning in the adjoining district of Rewa. Sombai Singh (23), Somya’s mother, was scheduled to appear for the ANM exam, and had asked her cousin Asha to accompany her to Satna.

A day after an overcrowded bus skidded off the road and plunged into a canal in Madhya Pradesh’s Sidhi district, the toll in the accident rose to 51 with four more bodies being found on Wednesday. Three persons were still missing when rescue operations were called off on Wednesday evening. The driver of the bus has been detained.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met many of the families who had lost their loved ones.

Many of those who died were headed to Satna to take the Auxiliary Midwife Nursery (ANM) exam.

The body of five-month-old Somya Singh was found floating on Wednesday morning in the adjoining district of Rewa. Sombai Singh (23), Somya’s mother, was scheduled to appear for the ANM exam, and had asked her cousin Asha to accompany her to Satna as her husband was in Hyderabad where he works as a driver. “She had completed her computer courses and was looking for a job to get stability for her family. But now we are waiting for her husband to return to carry out the cremation after Somya’s body was found,” said Sombai’s younger brother Ambika.

Like Sombai, Khusbhoo Singh Patel (23), the eldest of three sisters, had also boarded the bus with her cousin brother Anil Patel (24), hoping to crack the exams and secure a government job to aid her father, a small time farmer. Khushboo’s body was recovered on Wednesday, a day after Anil’s body was fetched from the canal. “She was good at studies and there was no one from the family who had managed a government job. This was their shot,” said Krishna Kumar Patel, a relative.

“Giving jobs is the least that the government can do for the families,” said Subedar Yadav, who lost his sister-in-law Kavitha Yadav and eight-month-old niece in the accident. “Kavitha was trying very hard. She had appeared for exams in Anuppur district in the past but now was confident of making it.”

According to Krishna Saket, who lost his cousin Amar Jyoti Saket and uncle Ram Saket while they were heading to appear for the ANM exam, it was the poor condition of the road that led to the accident. “Why is it that the government couldn’t do anything to check traffic on the main highway due to which the buses took the alternate route,” he asked, saying that they were told that the driver was trying to overtake a dumper on a narrow road but as the bus was overcrowded, it tipped on to one side and fell into the canal.

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