(Nishant Sharma) An HRTC bus going to Bandla from Bilaspur met a tragic accident today, about 3 kilometers from Bilaspur town. The accident has claimed 16 lives, though it is feared the number may rise.

Eye witnesses said that the original HRTC bus assigned to go to Bandla broke down midway and the department sent another bus for the convenience of passengers. The driver of the new bus parked near the broken down bus and got down to have a look at it. Meanwhile, passengers boarded the bus and suddenly, the ill fated bus rolled back into the deep gorge. When the accident occurred, both the driver and conductor were not in the bus.