NEW DELHI, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from Tuesday's bus accident in southern Indian state of Telangana has risen to 46, officials said.
The accident took place near Shanivarapet village of Jagtial district, about 176 km north of Hyderabad, the capital city of Telangana.
According to officials the bus belonging to Telangana State Road Transport Corporation with 80 passengers onboard skidded off the mountainous road and fell into a gorge at around 11:45 a.m. (local time).
"The death toll in today's tragic accident has risen to 46 and the dead include children and women," B Rajesham, joint collector Jagtial told Xinhua over telephone. "The injured have been removed to different hospitals in the district for treatment depending upon the nature of injures they have suffered."
Reports said some of the injured were shifted to hospitals in Karimnagar and Hyderabad.
According to Rajesham, the ill-fated bus was returning from Kondagattu to Jagtial town.
Kondagattu hills are famous for Anjaneya Swamy Temple. Hindu devotees throng the temple on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Over the years the temple has become a pilgrim centre.
Officials said the victims were Hindu pilgrims who had visited the temple and were on way back to home.
Following the accident, locals informed police, who along with disaster response force personnel and medical teams rushed to the spot to carry out rescue work of removing injured to the hospital and retrieving bodies from the gorge.
Officials said the cause of the accident was negligent driving on part of the bus driver.
"No sooner we got the information we rushed to the spot to carry out rescue work. Over two dozen passengers had died on spot," Rajesham said. "Preliminary investigations reveal the bus was being driven negligently and that became the reason for the mishap."
Officials said the bodies have been shifted to Jagtial area hospital for post-mortem.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) has expressed grief over the accident and announced financial assistance of 6,877 U.S. dollars for each family that lost member in the accident.
"The families of those who died in the Kondagattu road accident will be provided a financial assistance of INR 500,000 (6877 USD)," a statement issued by the local government said. "KCR is deeply concerned over number of people injured in the accident and has ordered officials to take immediate steps to provide proper treatment to them."
Deadly road accidents are common in India often caused due to overloading, bad condition of roads and reckless driving.
Officials say on an average over 400 deaths take place every day in India due to road accidents.