Mumbai, Mar 19 (): In a disastrous accident, thirty-seven people were feared dead when a bus fell off a bridge close to a river in Khed area of Ratnagiri district in the wee hours of Tuesday.
According to reports received, more than ten people were said to be critically injured, while the driver of the bus escaped without any injury. Police however took the driver of the bus into custody. Police said that the accident occurred at around 4.00 am when the bus heading from Goa to Mumbai was passing on the Bhurne Bridge over Jagbudi River in Khed area of Ratnagiri district.
As the driver of the bus lost control over the bus, it possibly collided with the safety grills of the bridge due to which the bus fell down the bridge, close to the river. The luxury bus of Mahakali Travels was carrying fifty passengers out of which thirty-seven people were dead and ten are said to be in a critical condition, said a police officer from Khed police station.
One Russian lady was also said to be travelling in the bus who received grievous injuries, said the police. Investigation is going on and identification of the dead is under process, said additional Superintendent of Police. The injured people were rushed to the Walawalkar hospital and some were taken to Mumbai hospital, added the officer.
Rescue operation is also under process using cranes with gas cutters to bring out the trapped passengers. The injured passengers were kept under close observation. According to doctors’ advise, some of the passengers were shifted to Mumbai hospitals, said Ratnagiri Collector Rajiv Jadhav.
Traffic remained to be affected right from the morning and efforts were being taken to bring under control, said the police. A preliminary report said that the driver of the bus might have fallen asleep due to which the accident took place.