Mumbai: At least 32 people were killed and 15 injured when a private passenger bus carrying pilgrims to Shirdi fell off a river bridge near Osmanabad town early Saturday, police said.
Osmanabad town is around 450 km from Mumbai.
While 32 people were killed, a majority of the injured were critical. The casualty figures could increase.
The ill-fated bus, owned by Kaveshwari Travels, was on a journey to the famous pilgrim centre of Shirdi, Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra when the tragedy occurred around 2.30 a.m. Saturday, Osmanabad Police said.
According to eyewitnesses, the bus overturned four-five times and caught fire before plunging around 30 feet below the bridge.
The accident occurred near Jakot village, around 40 km from Osmanabad, on the Hyderabad-Solapur highway as the bus was proceeding to Shirdi, the abode of the revered saint, Shri Saibaba.
Some survivors told mediapersons that the driver of the vehicle (No. KA-01D-245) was inebriated and speeding which led to the gruesome tragedy.
The injured have been rushed to hospitals in Osmanabad, Latur, Solapur and other neighbouring towns and efforts are on to identify the dead.
Officials describe it as the worst road tragedy till date in the state.
The exact cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained, a police official said.
Last month, (May 28), some 27 people from Mumbai belonging to a marriage party, going to Pune, were mowed down by a speeding cargo tempo at Raigad.