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32 Shirdi pilgrims killed in Maharashtra bus tragedy

India TV News Desk 16 Jun 2012, 22:17:00 IST
India TV News Desk
Solapur, Maharashtra, June 16: Thirty-two pilgrims were killed and 22 others were injured when the bus in which they were travelling to the famous Shirdi Sai Baba shrine fell into Jalkot river near Osmanabad early this morning.
The bus, from Hyderabad, fell from a bridge into the river smashing it completely.
The mishap took place at around 1:30 am. The injured pilgrims have been admitted to Solapur hospital.
More details are awaited.

PTI adds from Hyderabad: Bodies of 30 people, who were killed in the bus accident near Naldurg in Maharashtra today, were being brought to Hyderabad even as authorities managed to identify only six of the deceased.

“Bodies of 30 persons will be brought to Hyderabad by this afternoon,” said Commissioner, Information and Public Relations R V Chandravadan said.

So far, only six deceased have been identified based on their I-cards, he said.

Once the bodies are brought, they will be kept in Osmania General Hospital here. “We are displaying the photographs of the deceased to enable the family members to identify their near and dear ones,” the official said.  Majority of the deceased hailed from Hyderabad.

At least 16 of the passengers were employees of TCS and four of them were undergoing treatment in different hospitals in Maharashtra, TCS (Andhra Pradesh) Vice-President V Rajanna said.

“We came to know about the sad news through TV channels.  Around 14-16 TCS employees were travelling in the bus to Shirdi. We have already sent our people from Pune and Hyderabad to the hospitals. We are in touch with the police there who informed us that four of our employees were undergoing treatment at a hospital in Sholapur and their condition was out of danger,” he said.

A young woman injured in the incident alleged that the bus driver was in an inebriated condition and the incident took place around 2 am.

“We were sleeping...suddenly I heard a big sound and when I opened my eyes I found it was dark everywhere. Somehow, I managed to come out of the bus and went towards the road shouting for help, though no one stopped. It was only after one hour a bus stopped and with their help we reached the local police station and by that time it was around 5 am,” she said.

Andhra Pradesh Government has dispatched a special team to Osmanabad in neighbouring Maharashtra where 30 passengers, all hailing from here, were killed in a road accident in the wee hours today.

The team, headed by AP Civil Supplies Minister D Sridhar Babu and Health Commissioner Praveen Prakash, has been asked to oversee relief operations, post-mortem and dispatch of bodies to Hyderabad, official sources said.

S Suresh Kumar, Collector of Medak district neighbouring Solapur in south-east Maharashtra, has also sent special teams and ambulances to shift bodies of the dead from the accident spot at Naldurg to Hyderabad.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy spoke over phone with his Maharashtra counterpart Prithviraj Chavan and requested him to extend all medical help to the 16 injured passengers, who were bound for temple town of Shirdi.  The AP Government would bear all expenses for the treatment of the injured, he said.