13 killed as bus with pilgrims falls into river in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur
The victims belonged to three families who were returning home after visiting a temple of Ganesha.
At least 13 persons were killed as a minibus carrying 17 passengers fell into Panchganga river at Kolhapur in western Maharashtra, police said Saturday.
The incident took place at around 11.45pm on Friday when the vehicle carrying three families was returning from Ganpatipule, a picnic destination of coastal Konkan, an official said.
The deceased include three men, three women and seven children, including a nine month baby, he said.
The speeding minibus was on the Shivaji Bridge of Panchganga river when its driver lost control of the vehicle. The bus later fell into the river, the official said.
Police and fire brigade rushed to the spot as an onlooker alerted the Kolhapur police about the incident.
Rescue and search operations were launched immediately, he said.
The rescue teams managed to trace 16 passengers of the ill-fated bus, wherein 13 had died. Three are admitted to a hospital for treatment, the official said.
All the passengers hailed from Balewadi in Pune, police said, adding the rescue operation is underway.
More than 110,000 people are killed annually on India’s roads. Most crashes are attributed to reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles.