At least 57 people, including five children, were killed after a state-owned road transport corporation bus fell into a gorge in Telangana’s Jagtial district on Tuesday, reported PTI. The bus was carrying more than 90 passengers.
Some of the injured were shifted to a government-run hospital in Jagtial, while a few of those critically injured were taken to hospitals in Karimnagar and Hyderabad, NDTV reported.
The bus was returning from Kondagattu to Jagtial when it skidded off the ghat road near Shanivarapet village. The police said they suspect the driver lost control of the vehicle after its brakes failed while attempting to avoid another bus.
“The incident happened between 11.45 am and noon,” PTI quoted District Collector A Sharat as saying. Kondagattu is famous for its Anjaneya Swamy temple. All the passengers were reportedly pilgrims who were on their way to Jagtial town after visiting the temple.
The police said most of the deaths occurred because of suffocation as the passengers fell on each other, according to the Hindustan Times.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao expressed shock at the accident and instructed officials to ensure the best possible medical care for the injured. The chief minister’s office announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each for the families of the deceased.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his condolences. “The bus accident in Telangana’s Jagtial district is shocking beyond words,” he tweeted. “Anguished by the loss of lives. My thoughts and solidarity with the bereaved families. I pray that the injured recover quickly.”
Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh said he was pained “by the loss of precious lives”.