At least 25 people drowned on Saturday when a private bus they were travelling in plunged into a canal in Karnataka’s Mandya district, police said.
“The mishap occurred around noon at Kanaganamaradi village near Pandavapura town, as the bus skidded off the bridge and fell into the Cauvery river canal,” a Mandya police control room official told IANS on phone.
“Divers retrieved the bodies of 25 passengers from the bus before it was fished out of the canal. A rescue operation is underway to search for the remaining victims,” the official said.
The accident spot is about 120 km from Bengaluru on the state highway towards Mysuru after Mandya town.
According to a witness, the speeding bus was on way to Mandya from Pandavapura when the driver apparently lost control of the wheel, resulting in the bus veering off the bridge and falling into the 20-feet deep canal.
Vehicular traffic on the state highway was disrupted and rescue work affected, as hundreds of people from the surrounding areas thronged the mishap spot to see the bus plunged into the canal.
A few students were among the victims as they were returning home from schools and colleges which had a half-day being Saturday.
State Transport Minister D.C. Thammanna and district in-charge C.S. Puttarajau have rushed to the accident spot with district Deputy Commissioner N. Manjushri and district Superintendent of Police S.P. Devaraj.