Pune: A bus carrying 40 persons fell down a mountain road in Ambenali Ghat in Raigad district on Saturday morning. Local MLA Bharat Gogawale said that 32 persons have died in the accident.
The bus with 38 staff members of Konkan Agricultural University, Dapoli, Raigad district, were travelling from Dapoli to Mahabaleshwar in Satara district, when it fell down into an 800 feet gorge near Dabhil Tok.
The accident took place around 6.30 am. One of the injured staff somehow climbed up and informed the university officials around 10 am. Local police along with Trekkers groups launched the rescue operation. A team from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Talegaon (Pune) have been sent with necessary equipment.
Sanjay Bhave, a senior official of the University said, “Every year after paddy plantation, the staffs go for a picnic. This year too they were going for the picnic, when the accident happened. We don't know more details about them.”
Ramesh Shendge, Tehsildar of Mahableshwar Taluka told Sakal Times that so far only seven bodies have been recovered. Shendge added that carrying out rescue operation is a challenge as the bus has fallen 700-800 feet deep in the valley.
The accident took place near Dabhil village, Poladpur Taluka in Raigad district. The spot is around 4 km away from Paratapgadh fort. The locals shared that the spot where this accident took place, is a comparatively straight patch of the road in Poladpur ghat section.
The primary investigation into this incident indicates that there are chances that driver may have lost control while trying to look back in order to check on the activities of passengers. The spot where this accident took place had no protective railings.
Shendge shared that the members of three trekkers groups namely Mahableshwar Trekkers, Sahyadri, and Poladpur Young Blood Adventure are carrying out the rescue operation.
Total six ambulances from Mahabaleshwar, Kubroshi, Tapola, Poladpur, Chiplun have rushed to the spot.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis took to twitter about the tragic incident and offered his condolences to the victim's family.