At least 33 people died on Saturday when a bus they were travelling in skidded off the Mumbai-Goa highway and fell into a 500-feet deep gorge in Ambenali Ghat in Raigad district, Maharashtra. Only one of the total 34 onboard passengers managed to survive the accident. As per police reports, 12 bodies have been recovered so far from the accident site while the search operations are still underway.
The horrendous accident occured in the early morning when 34 employees of Dr Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth were en route to Mahabaleshwar for a weekend picnic. The site where their bus skidded off the road has been reported to be a slippery terrain due to the heavy rains Raigad has been receiving lately.
The report of 33 casualties was confirmed by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Commandant Anupam Srivastava. While speaking to media, he reported, “We have confirmed 33 deaths and only one person managed to survive the bus crash. Our team is trying to recover the bodies.”
Raigad’s Guardian minister Ravindra Chavan also reached the accident spot to assess the situation. After receiving updates from the NDRF team, he said that the bus fell into the gorge due to the fault of the driver. He further assured that operations are underway to recover the bodies from the 500-ft gorge.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also lamented the loss of 33 lives in the bus accident. During a media address, the BJP leader said, “Victims were employees of an agricultural university, going on a picnic. We’ll provide help to the kin of deceased, but will also take steps to ensure such incidents don’t take place in future.”
Earlier this month, at least 48 people were killed and 11 others were wounded after a bus fell into a 200-metre deep gorge in Uttarakhand’s Pauri district. The incident took place near the near Gween village, close to Dhumakot in the district when the bus was on its way to Ramnagar. According to the police, the accident occurred in the morning when the driver lost control of the bus, as reported by india.com.