Twenty five people, including five children, were killed after a bus fell into a canal in south Karnataka on Saturday afternoon. Authorities fear the number of people who have died could be higher. Around 30 to 35 people were travelling in the private bus.
The accident took place in Mandya, 105 km from Bengaluru.
The bus fell into the canal after the driver lost control, the police said. Many passengers could not escape from the bus as it fell to its side, trapping the doors on the floor of the canal. The bus soon submerged.
Farmers working in nearby fields started rescue work immediately and rescued a few passengers.
“I believe the driver was not driving properly… I will find out,” Karnataka Duty Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwara said.
Visuals from the site of the accident showed locals using ropes to try and pull the bus out from the water body. The bodies of the victims were pulled out and laid out on the ground.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who will visit the site today, instructed the minister in charge of Mandya and the Deputy Commissioner to reach the site as soon as possible and oversee the rescue operation.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi condoled the deaths. “I’m sorry to hear about the terrible bus accident in Mandya district of Karnataka in which over 20 people are feared dead & many others injured. I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased & pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he tweeted.
“All the appointments of the Chief Minister have been cancelled for the day.An award ceremony that was to be held later in the evening has been cancelled till further notice,” the Chief Minister’s Office tweeted.