Fifty-six people, including 16 women and 16 children, were killed when the bus they were tarvelling in plunged into a deep lake at Govindgarh in Rewa district on Thursday.
More bodies were feared buried in the slush at the bottom of the lake, 225 kms from here. Divers from Indore and Mathura were on their way to the accident site to fish out more bodies on Friday.
A front wheel of the bus, coming from Ramnagar to Rewa, reportedly developed some fault after which the driver lost control, leading to the accident.
Seven people, including the conductor, could swim to safety. The bus was lifted with cranes. Fifty-five people were found dead inside the bus and another body was recovered from the lake.
Rewa Divisional Commissioner S.K Ved confirmed that 56 people were dead. He said the possibility of some more deaths cannot be ruled out.
He said that the district administration will provide a sum of Rs 5000 each to the families of the deceased for cremation. Ved said that the state government has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 50,000 each to the next of the kin of the deceased.
Thirty-two years ago, at least 17 people met a water grave when the boat in which they were being ferried on a festival day (Makarsakranthi) capsized in the Govindgarh lake.