A bus carrying pilgrims to Shirdi in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district met with an accident on Saturday morning killing 32 of the 50 passengers on board.
The bus had set off from Hyderabad and had covered around 275 km and was nearing Osmanabad town at 2.30 am, when it fell off a bridge and plunged into a valley.
Andhra Pradesh civil supplies minister Sridhar Babu along with a team of officials rushed to Osmanabad in a chopper.
The bodies of the victims — all from Andhra Pradesh — are being shifted to Hyderabad, officials said.
Only 11 of the bodies have been identified so far. These include a family of seven persons from Guntur district.
A young woman injured in the incident alleged that the bus driver was in an inebriated condition.
“We were sleeping...suddenly I heard a big sound and when I opened my eyes I found it was dark everywhere. Somehow, I managed to come out of the bus and went towards the road shouting for help, though no one stopped. It was only after one hour a bus stopped and with the help of the passengers we reached the local police station. It was 5am then,” she said.
Among the passengers were 14 to 16 employees of IT major Tata Consultancy Services. The company has sent two teams to the accident site.
Fourteen of the passengers who were seriously injured are undergoing treatment at nearby hospitals.
“If necessary, the injured will be brought here for treatment,” said RV Chandravadan, Andhra Pradesh information commissioner. “We are also arranging special buses to take the relatives of the victims to Osmanabad.”
Expressing shock over the mishap, AP chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy directed the officials to provide all help to the victims and their families.