Speeding India bus plunge kills 53

The bus was carrying pilgrims in the hills of south India when it plunged off a road killing 43

The bus was carrying pilgrims in the hills of south India when it plunged off a road killing 43

A bus carrying pilgrims from a Hindu temple in the hills of south India plunged off a road Tuesday, killing at least 45 people, officials said.

The bus was returning from Kondagattu to Jagtial when it skidded off the ghat road near Shanivarapet village. The driver lost control at a speed breaker, resulting into mishap. "The majority of the passengers have suffered severe injuries".

Jagtial district Superintendent of Police Sindhu Sharma said the accident occurred around 11 a.m. when the bus was coming down from the hill and was to join the highway.

"The bus accident in Telangana's Jagtial district is shocking beyond words", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet.

India has the world's deadliest roads, with nearly 150,000 people killed in accidents in 2016, the latest government data shows, up 3.2 per cent from a year earlier.

At least 53 passengers have died after a state-run Road Transport Corporation (RTC) bus fell off a ghat road in Telangana. The injured have been shifted to Karimnagar government hospital, he added. "We will take all precautions by developing this road or diverting (the services)", Finance Minister Etela Rajender said.

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"We have pulled out the bodies and we are taking them to the hospital for autopsy", B. Rajesham, another official, told AFP. "Thoughts with the bereaved families and those injured".

Eyewitness accounts said the bus was overcrowded. Nizamabad MP Kavitha also expressed grief over the accident. The severely injured were rushed to the Jagtial hospital.

Authorities said a break failure could be one of the reasons for the accident. The bus had more than 50 passengers.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao expressed shock at the accident and instructed officials to ensure the best possible medical care for the injured.

Condoling the deaths, Telangana state Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh to the families of each of the deceased.

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