At least 12 people were killed and 49 others injured on Tuesday after a bus carrying passengers fell from the Mahanadi bridge near Jagatpur in Cuttack, news agency PTI reported.
The private bus, on its way to Cuttack from Talcher, crashed into the railing of the bridge and plunged 30 feet down into the dry riverbed.
"I am extremely saddened to know about seven deaths...RIP...most of the other injured have been shifted to'the hospital and are receiving treatment..wish them a speedy recovery...," Odisha DGP R P Sharma tweeted.
According to eyewitnesses, the driver of the bus lost control when a buffalo came in front of it. The driver swerved the bus to save the animal and thus the accident happened, a police officer said.
Policemen from Cuttack along with fire brigade personnel and the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) rushed to the accident site to rescue the trapped passengers.
Chief Fire Officer Sukant Sethy said all the passengers trapped inside the bus have been rescued and they were taken to the SCB Medical College and Hospital for treatment.
Watch: Bus falls from Mahanadi bridge in Cuttack
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed deep concern over the accident and has directed Sports Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera to rush to the spot and oversee treatment of the injured.
He also directed the fire services, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) to expedite the rescue operation.
(With agency inputs)