20 killed in Gujarat bus accident, toll may rise

Ahmedabad, Feb 5 (IANS) At least 20 people were killed and as many injured when a Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) bus fell off from a river bridge in South Gujarat’s Navsari district on Friday evening.

The bus was carrying 60 people, and the chances of survival of those still trapped in the bus wreckage are slim, a police official said.

Navsari Superintendent of Police M.S. Barada said the bus was on its way to Unai town from Navsari city when the accident occurred in the evening. The bus was packed to capacity when it started around 6 p.m.

Barada told media persons that rescue operations were on in full swing. “We have recovered 20 bodies so far. At least 15 people, including the driver and the conductor of the bus, were trapped inside the overturned bus when last reports trickled in.”

The officer said looking at the damaged bus, the chances of survival of those still inside the wreckage are dim.

The accident occurred on a bridge over Purna river near Supa village on Bardoli road under Navsari rural police station area, he said.

Many of the injured, who were rushed to government hospitals in Navsari, Gandevi and other towns were reported to be in critical condition. Police said the number of casualties were yet to be collated and may rise.

Though the exact cause of the accident has yet to be ascertained, prima facie it appeared that the driver lost control over the speeding vehicle, which skidded off the bridge to plunge into the river.

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