India Bus plunges into river killing 33 people travelling to Hindu temple.
Seven people injured in the accident have been admitted in different hospitals owing to their condition.
The accident took place in the morning at Dubi in Sawai Madhopur district, about 150 km south of Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan.
“The death toll in today’s tragic accident has risen to 33,” a senior local government official Kailash Chand Verma told Xinhua over telephone from Sawai Madhopur. “Seven people injured in the accident have been admitted at different hospitals and are being taken care of.”
The 40-seater bus carrying Hindu pilgrims from Sawai Madhopur to Lalsot veered off a bridge and plunged into river Banas.
Local media reports said the bus was being driven by a juvenile working as conductor with the bus. However, Verma rebuffed the allegations, saying driver was not a minor.
“What caused the accident is matter of investigation. Preliminary findings revealed the driver tried to overtake another vehicle on the narrow bridge but lost control over the wheel, smashing the bridge railing and fell into the river,” Verma said. “We have registered a case in this regard and after investigations things would get clear but minor was driving the bus is just a rumour.”
Rescuers accompanied by locals have fished out all the 33 bodies and kept them in mortuary of the district hospital for identification.
Following the accident locals alerted the police, after which teams of police and disaster response force personnel rushed to the spot.
The passengers inside the bus, according to reports, were hailing from Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, and were on their way to offer obeisance at the Ramdevra temple in Lalsot.
The wreckage of the bus was pulled out of the river with a crane and gas cutters.
“We are still carrying out searches in the river,” Verma said.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje felt saddened over deaths in the accident.
“I am anguished by the sad news of bus accident at Dubbi Banas,” Raje said. “We have talked to concerned officials and directed them to provide all possible assistance to the victims of accident.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also has expressed grief over the tragic accident.
Deadly road accidents are common in India, often caused due to overloading, bad condition of roads and reckless driving.
According to an official report released recently, on average India witnessed over 400 deaths in road accidents every day during 2016.