In a ghastly road mishap, at least 32 devotees were killed and more than 16 others injured, some of them seriously, when a private travel bus fell off a bridge near Jakot village in Osmanabad district in Maharashtra on Shalopaur-Hyderabad highway in the wee hours of Saturday.
According to reports reaching here, the mishap occurred at around 2.30 am when the bus was heading towards Shirdi Saibaba Temple in Ahmednagar district from Hyderabad on Friday night.
According to eyewitnesses, the bus overturned four-five times and caught fire before plunging around 30 feet below the bridge.
The bus belonged to Sree Kaleswari Travels from Lakdikapul at least 43 passengers were on board at the time of mishap including 14 employees of Tata Consultancy Services and seven passengers from Guntur.The injured have been shifted to Solapur and Osmanabad civil hospitals. The identities of deceased are yet to be ascertained.Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has expressed shock and grief over the incident and has directed Chief Secretary Pankaj Dwivedi to help the injured.
Kiran Kumar Reddy also called Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chawan over telephone and asked him to provide all medical assistance to the pilgrims, who were seriously injured in the mishap. Earlier, the Chief Minister convened a meeting with revenue, transport and medical officials over the accident.He directed the Transport Department chief secretary to file a case against bus driver of Sree Kaleswari Travels for negligent driving which was responsible for the mishap. Meanwhile, a team of medical and government officials led by Civil Supplies Minister D Sridhar Babu left for the spot to help the injured and to coordinate with the Maharashtra State officials.
"We need to get more details about the accident and number of casualties," the officials said.
The state government also set up two helpline centres to provide information over passengers to family members and relatives. The helpline numbers are 02472-222700 and 02472-222900.
Meanwhile, anxious family members of the victims rushed to the office of the travel agency which was operating the bus at Lakadi-ka-Pul here to find out the condition of their relatives. INN