At least 20 people were injured after a passenger bus fell into River Sheonath in Chhattisgarh's Balodabazar district on Thursday.  As many as five people are reportedly missing.

The injured, including the bus conductor, have been shifted to a nearby hospital, while the search is on for the missing people.

The accident occurred at around 10:30 am when the private passenger bus, which was on its way to Bhatapara from Bilaspur, fell off the bridge at Semariya Ghat, Balodabazar Superintendent of Police Abhishek Shandilya told PTI.

The police and the rescue team arrived within minutes of learning about the accident. They rescued 20 people and are looking for five others. According to the conductor, there were over 20 people on board the bus, but the exact figure is still not known.

"So far 19 passengers and conductor of the bus have been rescued from the river and admitted to a nearby hospital," he said.

Shandilya said the bus driver jumped off the vehicle before it fell into the river and has been on the run ever since.

The reason behind the accident has not been ascertained as yet, but some have alleged that the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol and he apparently lost control of the vehicle when it reached the bridge, resulting in the mishap, The Times of India reports.