May 14th, 2010
07:43 AM ET

28 electrocuted in India on bus on way to wedding

Twenty-eight wedding guests were electrocuted Friday as an overhead cable came in contact with their bus in central India, police said.

Twenty-three women, three men and two children died. Five passengers jumped to safety and suffered minor injuries. The bus driver was not injured.

The high-voltage wire touched an iron wardrobe on the roof of the bus as it stopped at Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh state, said top district administrator K.K. Khare.

As passengers began stepping down while holding the steel railings, the current passed to the ground to cause a jolting electric shock in the bus, Khare said.

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Filed under: India
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. John D

    Ithink a bus is mostly metal so they probably never had a chance. And who wouldn't panic in that type of situation, watching kids get electrocuted. I'm sure they didn't have even a moment's time to really think about what was going on, it's not like a household electrical cord, there would have been a huge explosion and pop that would have thrown people off guard before the knew what was going on.

    May 14, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Facts

    OK, it's a third world country. Who made it third world? Britishers and Muslims. The Britishers came and looted and plundered the hell out of that country. So did the Muslims. Since it was always a peace loving country, it never retaliated.

    May 14, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Michael Daily

    If there was a god, stupid stuff like this wouldn't happen. Make the most of your life as long as you still have it.

    May 14, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Girish

    Facts – 1. Unfortunate accident. 2.Could have been avoided. 3. Several innocent lives were lost. 4. Several agencies need to take meaningful action, FAST. 5. Suffering families must be compensated

    Rest of it is just ranting!

    May 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. smithoman

    I do not understand how they were ALL killed. If you are in the vehicle and the wire touchs it you should be ok. If you step down and touch the ground and the vehicle, you'll be electrocuted. Did the entire busload do that? There's no way. Something is very much missing from this story. I'm an electrical engineer and this is a classic and well understood scenerio.

    May 14, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Neil N. Robert

    @Nobody: can't have one without the other.

    @Facts: You didn't go far enough. You forgot the Greeks.

    @Girish: query on #5....what is the going rate for an Indian child these days?

    May 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Alex

    So wait a minute...27 of these people saw the person in front of them get electrocuted and die after touching the steel railing and they all just kept doing the same exact thing? How about stand still and don't move until the authorities get there and tell you it's ok to get off the bus?

    May 14, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. nonee

    I really appreciate the guys who are trying to figure out how it happened and how it could have been prevented.Lets just talk about that .

    May 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Facts

    Neil N. Robert: are you a pedophile? I am obligated to report you if that's the case.

    May 14, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Opiate of the masses

    I knew sparks were going to fly in these comments.

    May 14, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. danny you really believe that they individually got off the bus? Education will take you placed dear sir!!! My thoughts go out to the family of the victims. How long until the government takes notice and spends the wealth on the people of their communities?

    May 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. vbscript2

    "It took one person holding a metal railing of the bus and stepping out (completing the electrical path to ground) to electrocute the entire bus. Davec its uneducated (don't even need a college education to know this, its simple grade school science) ignorant idiots like you who we need to control. I hope this moron (Davec) isn't breeding."

    Umm.... maybe it does take a college education. Incidentally, I'm an engineer with such an education and can assure you that you are wrong here. The person touching the metal portion of the bus and the ground completed a path to ground for the potential on the electric line touching the bus. No one else on the bus would be affected by this, as no one else is part of the circuit unless they are also touching (or very close to) both the person touching the rail and a path to ground.

    By the way, the correct ways to get off a bus in contact with a power line are:

    1) Don't. Wait until the lines have been disconnected before disembarking.


    2) Jump out making sure that you will land as far away from the bus as possible. The lines on power poles are usually upwards of 10 kilovolts until they get to the transformer on the pole before going into your house (which is a step-down tranformer bringing it down to the 120V or 240V used in your area.) 10 kV can arc an inch or more, so just being close to the bus and the ground at the same time could complete a path via an arc. Also, when you jump out, make sure your feet will land close together. When high-voltage lines are down, the ground could actually have a potential difference as you move away from where the high-potential is in contact with the ground. So, if part of the bus' frame or the wire were touching the ground and one of your feet lands significantly closer to the bus or wire than the other, you could be shocked or electrocuted by the ground itself (because your body probably has much lower impedance than the ground.) If possible, choose the first option instead. However, if there's a possible gas leak or other such danger, jumping out is your best bet.

    May 14, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kobe

    It's really funny how us fat, ignorant, self centered Americans can thumb our noses at a developing country after a freak accident kills 28 people. And I'm not sure if you noticed but every single day that passes our country becomes more and more like the country we're looking down on and countries like China and India are looking more like what we used to be. Sure India may have it's problems but right now it's future is much brighter than ours. At least their govenment will have the funds to fix infrastufcture can't say the same here, can't say the same in the UK and Europe.

    May 14, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Neil N. Robert

    @Alex: Another reading and math failure. Try again.

    @Facts: You said the suffering families need to be compensated. How much are the lives of three children worth in India these days? It would give a decent gauge of the worth of the women, as they produce the children and often care for them, as well as the men, who are somewhat instrumental in the production of the children, but often enough are not as involved in the care and raising of them. You seem to know these things, so again, what is the going rate for an Indian child?

    May 14, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Nobody

    @Jack . N. Hauf:

    No good come back ? Too bad, hope you selfish whites extinct yourselves - serial dating with the help of plastic surgery until you fall into your graves. Hope this happens before you destroy the planet with your consumption & endless holidaying..

    May 14, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
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