Dhanbad: At least a dozen pilgrims, including women, were injured after a West Bengal-bound bus carrying them fell into a ditch in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district on Friday, police said.

The pilgrims were returning to West Bengal after about a week-long tour to Ayodhya, Vrindavan and Varanasi.

The incident is said to have occurred at Debli on GT Road under Govindpur police station, around 22 km from the district headquarters at about 2 am on Friday.

All the injured were immediately rushed to Shahid Nirmal Mahto Medical College Hospital (SNMMCH), Dhanbad.

“After first aid, doctors discharged them. Now arrangements are being made to send them to Nadia district,” said Govindpur police station officer-in-charge Umesh Prasad Singh.

The bus was carrying 68 pilgrims and was returning to Nadia district of West Bengal from Varanasi when the incident occurred, he said. The residents of nearby villages rushed to the spot after hearing screams of the passengers.

The driver of the bus escaped from the spot after the mishap, police said.

Sources said the bus driver had tried to speed away the vehicle to skip paying donation for Durga Puja by organisers of a puja committe at Govindpur market.

Govindpur police which reached the spot said it is probing the incident.

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