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India: 37 killed as Mumbai-bound bus plunges into river
Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, (Hindustan Times):
At least 37 persons were killed and 14 others injured early on Tuesday when a Mumbai-bound private luxury bus travelling from Goa plunged into the Jagbudi river near Khed taluka in Ratnagiri district after falling off a bridge.
Prima facie investigations showed that the accident might have occured because the bus driver lost control of the bus after falling asleep at the wheel. The bus, belonging to Mahakali Travels, was on its way to Mumbai on the Goa-Mumbai highway when the accident took place at around 3.30 am. Khed is around 200 kilometers from Mumbai.
Apart from 13 Indians, one Russian lady also sustained injuries in the accident, police said.
"There were total 51 passengers travelling in the Mumbai-bound luxury bus. There is a possibility that the driver fell asleep. The process to identify the deceased passengers is on," Nandkumar Thakur, additional superintendent of police told HT over the phone.
The Mumbai-Goa highway was closed to vehicular traffic to speed up rescue operations and traffic was allowed back on the highway at around 7.30 am. The injured were shifted to a nearby governmental hospital and Walawalkar hospital, sources said. Some were shifted to Mumbai, they added.
"Three cranes were used along with gas cutters to rescue the injured who trapped in the wreckage. We are monitoring the health conditions of the injured. As per the advice of the doctors, the injured are been shifted to private hospitals or taken to Mumbai. The driver has survived the crash and his medical test has been done," Rajiv Jadhav, Collector of Ratnagiri told HT.
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