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Rescue officials and bystanders gather around the wreckage of the bus after it fell from the bridge in Khed, some 350km south of Mumbai, yesterday.
Ratnagiri (Maharash-tra): At least 37 people were killed and 15 others injured, including five foreign nationals, when a bus plunged into a river in Khed area yesterday on the Mumbai-Goa highway near here, officials said. The bus driver was arrested.
Among the victims are at least five foreign nationals but authorities could not confirm whether they were killed or injured in the accident.
The accident took place around 3.50am when the Goa-Mumbai bus belonging to Mahakali Travels suddenly went out of control on the Bharna bridge over Jagbudi river and crashed into the river, 190km from Mumbai, said B L Shinde, an official from the highway department.
“So far, 37 bodies have been removed from the site and there are some more injured passengers, including five whose condition is serious,” Shinde said.
The injured, among them the bus driver, have been taken to hospitals in Khed and Chiplun and some of the critical victims have been removed to Mumbai.
The driver, who was questioned after the treatment, was arrested and slapped with several charges related to rash and negligent driving resulting in death of the tourists, the official said. Police are investigating if he was drunk at the time of the accident.
According to preliminary and eye-witness reports, the accident occurred when the ill-fated bus was attempting to overtake another vehicle, though the exact cause has yet to be determined.