Mohd Subhan and Inkeshaf Ahmed
In a pre-dawn tragedy in Osmanabad district of Maharashtra, 32 pilgrims, all from Hyderabad, were killed and 14 others are struggling for life in various hospitals.
The ill-fated bus, owned by Kaleshwari Travels, was on a journey from Hyderabad to the famous pilgrim centre of Shirdi in Ahmednagar district when it fell off a river bridge on the outskirts of Osmanabad town, around 450 km from Mumbai around 3am, the Osmanabad police said. A majority of the injured are in a serious condition and the casualty figure is likely to go up.
Osmanabad additional superintendant of police Ravinder Singh Pardesi told Postnoon on phone that the spot of incident was between Jalkote and Naldurg. While brake-failure was quoted as the cause in the preliminary report, the ASP said it appeared to be sheer negligence by the driver. If the driver had dozed off or was in an inebriated condition is under probe. The two bus drivers too are said to be in a serious condition. The police have shifted the bodies of victims in Jalkote primary hospital for post mortem.
According to sources, around 14 of the victims are IT employees and one is a teenager.Superintendant of police Osmanabad Dattatreya Karare said the bus of the Kaleshwari Travels bore the licence number KN01-DO245. It started on Saturday at 9.30pm from Hyderabad.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and TDP chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu have expressed their shock at the accident. The CM has asked the City police and district officials to take necessary relief works. A team of RDOs has been sent to Osmanabad to help the survivors.In the meantime, the City police has arranged for a bus to take relatives of the victims to the accident site.
(With inputs from Osama Salman)