At least 33 people were killed when a bus carrying them fell into a 500 feet deep gorge in western Indian state of Maharashtra today, senior officials said.
The passengers were on their way to Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in Satara district, for a picnic, when the driver lost control and the bus fell into the gorge at around 12:30pm, said Anil Paraskar, superintendent of police of Raigad district of Maharashtra.
The bus was carrying 34 staff members of Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, an agriculture university in Konkan region. The incident took place at Ambenali Ghat near Poladpur town, around 180 kilometres from India’s financial and the state’s capital city Mumbai, District Collector Vijay Suryawanshi said, adding that 33 passengers died in the accident.
A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rushed to the spot to pull out the bodies from the bus. A dozen ambulances and 15 doctors have also reached the spot, Additional SP Sanjay Patil said.
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has mourned the loss of lives in the bus accident in Raigad district.
“Aggrieved by the loss of lives due to a bus accident in Maharashtra's Raigad district. My condolences to those who lost their loved ones”, the Indian PM said.