At least 52 people, including 20 women and seven children, died while more than 20 others got injured as a bus met with an accident near Kondagattu in Telangana. The injured were rushed to a nearby government hospital.
The bus, operated by the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC), reportedly fell into a valley near Kondagattu in Jagtial district.
Confirming the same, Telangana Finance Minister Etela Rajender said, "At least 52 have died so far in the incident. Chief Minister KC Rao has even announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the family members of the deceased."
The bus, carrying more than 60 passengers, met with the accident when the driver reportedly lost control at a speed breaker.
As per the report, the bus was carrying pilgrims who were returning after a visit to a famous temple in Jagtial.
The accident was caused reportedly because of brake failure in the bus. The toll could go up as the condition of some of the injured was stated to be critical, said authorities.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao released a statement on the incident, directing officials to provide immediate medical assistance to those injured. He announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia each for the families of the dead.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief at the loss of lives in the incident. The Prime Minister tweeted, "The bus accident in Telangana’s Jagtial district is shocking beyond words. Anguished by the loss of lives. My thoughts and solidarity with the bereaved families. I pray that the injured recover quickly."
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also took to Twitter to express grief. He asked Congress workers in the region to provide all assistance to those affected.
"I’m sorry to hear about the death of over 40 pilgrims in a road accident in Jagtial, Telangana. Congress party workers in the area must provide all necessary assistance to those in need of help. My thoughts & prayers are with the injured & the families of those who have died," the Congress president tweeted.
(With agency inputs)