Mandya, Karnataka: At least Twenty-five people, including five children, were killed after a bus fell into a canal in south Karnataka on Saturday afternoon. The accident took place in Mandya, 105 km from Bengaluru.
The bus carrying 35 passengers got completely submerged in the 12-feet deep water body.
Some locals jumped in to rescue the victims, but found it tough to extract those stuck inside. As per reports, the toll is likely to rise further and several more have suffered serious injuries.
The incident occurred after the vehicle fell into VC canal of the Cauvery river near Kanakanamaradi of Pandavapura taluk. The bus, which was headed towards Mandya city from Pandavapura, had several school kids in it as they had a half-day on Saturday, locals were quoted as saying in media reports.
According to eyewitnesses, the bus was going at a high speed and the driver lost control when he had to take a right turn, leading to the accident. The driver and the conductor reportedly swam out of the canal and fled after the accident.
“I believe the driver was not driving properly… I will find out,” Karnataka Duty Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwara said.
Two boys, who also knew swimming, too managed to get out and brought help from nearby villagers. A survivor said the doors of the bus were locked and those inside were unable to open them. The two boys who got out made their way through window and rushed towards the nearest village to seek help.
Divers, senior police officers and the personnel from the fire and emergency services have reached the spot for the rescue operation.
Visuals from the site of the accident showed locals using ropes to try and pull the bus out from the water body. The bodies of the victims were pulled out and laid out on the ground.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who will visit the site today, instructed the minister in charge of Mandya and the Deputy Commissioner to reach the site as soon as possible and oversee the rescue operation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was deeply pained by the news of the accident.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also extended condolences to the families of the deceased and said he prays for the speedy recovery of the injured.