A total of 33 people have died after a bus fell into a deep gorge in western India, an official has said.
The vehicle was carrying 34 employees of Dapoli Agriculture University on Saturday when it plunged off a mountain road in Raigad district of Maharashtra state.
It was heading to the popular hill station in Mahabaleshwar for a picnic, Vijay Suryawanshi, a senior Raigad district administrator, told AFP news agency.
The bus rolled down a mountain road in Ambenali Ghat, near Poladpur town. A team from the National Disaster Response Force was sent to help victims.
According to local media reports, a dozen ambulances and 15 doctors arrived at the scene of the accident.
“[ A total of] 34 people were present in the bus, 33 people died … and only one person survived miraculously who informed the officials about the accident,” Suryawanshi told Anadolu Agency over phone.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief over the accident on Twitter.
Pained by the loss of lives due to a bus accident in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. My condolences to those who lost their loved ones: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 28, 2018
Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis also gave his condolences and said the government was doing everything it could do to help.
Pained to know about the loss of lives in Mahabaleshwar bus accident.Administration taking all efforts to provide required assistance.
Senior officials&emergency management systems in place.
My thoughts are with families who lost loved ones&prayers for speedy recovery of injured.
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) July 28, 2018
India has the world’s deadliest roads, with more than 110,000 people killed annually.
Early this month, 48 people were killed and 11 injured when an overcrowded bus spun off a slippery road and fell into a deep ravine in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.
Most crashes are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and ageing vehicles.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies