At least 17 persons were killed and over a dozen others injured when a private bus carrying passengers fell into a water-filled ditch in Ratlam Madhya Pradesh on Friday, the police said.
The accident took place at 11 a.m. near Mewasa village when the bus was on its way to Jawra from Ratlam.
Ratlam Superintendent of Police Abhilash Sharma said that 16 passengers have been safely taken out of the bus, and relief and rescue operations are on.
Many passengers are still said to be trapped inside the ill-fated bus lying submerged in water.
“The injured are undergoing treatment at a Ratlam hospital,” he said.
Although the cause of the accident is yet to be established, Sharma said the driver apparently lost control over the bus due to speeding near the open-cast mine pit, which caused the accident.
The survivors, however, maintain that the accident took place as one of the tyres of the bus burst. The bus spun out of control and fell into a stone mine on the roadside. The entire bus submerged in the water, giving little time for the passengers to escape.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the loss of innocent lives in the accident.
In a tweet, he said: “Extremely distressed by the loss of lives caused by the bus accident in Ratlam, MP. My thoughts are with the bereaved families.”
“I wish those injured in the bus accident in Ratlam a quick recovery,” Modi wrote in his next tweet.