33 killed as bus carrying university staff falls into gorge in Maharashtra’s Raigad

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A bus, on its way to a hill station, fell into a gorge in Raigad district of Maharashtra this afternoon killing 33 passengers, senior officials said.

The bus was carrying 34 staff members of an agriculture university in the Konkan region. It fell into a 500-feet deep gorge at Ambenali Ghat near Poladpur town, around 180 km from here, District Collector Vijay Suryawanshi told PTI.

33 passengers died in the accident which took place at around 12.30 pm, he said.

SP Anil Paraskar said the passengers were on their way to Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in Satara district, for a picnic, when the driver lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a turn and fell into the gorge.

All passengers of the bus were all staff of Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth in Dapoli town, he said.

A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was called to the spot to take pull out the bodies from the ill-fated bus. A dozen ambulances and 15 doctors have also reached the spot, Additional SP Sanjay Patil said.

Condoling the loss of lives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Pained by the loss of lives due to a bus accident in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. My condolences to those who lost their loved ones.”

President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed condolences on the tragedy.

“Extremely saddened to learn about the tragic bus accident in Raigad, Maharashtra. Rescue efforts are on to help affected people. Thoughts and prayers with the bereaved families and with those injured,” the President said in a tweet.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the government was making all efforts to provide required assistance.

“Pained to know about the loss of lives in Mahabaleshwar bus accident. Administration taking all efforts to provide required assistance. Senior officials&emergency management systems in place,” Fadnavis tweeted.  (Agencies)

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