March 27 (UPI) — At least eight people were killed and more than 40 were injured when a bus carrying wedding guests plunged off a road in southern India and into a ravine, authorities said Sunday.
The accident happened late Saturday in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh state near the city of Tirupati, police told the Press Trust of India.
A Tirupati police official said the private bus, which was carrying 63 people, fell into a 50-foot-deep ravine while attempting to negotiate a steep curve. The bus had been hired to take family members and guests to a wedding in Tirupati and appeared to be speeding, he said.
Rescuers were forced to scale the steep gorge and search for survivors in pitch darkness, authorities said.
The Tirupati Urban Police and the Indian Police Service “immediately rushed to the spot, rescued & shifted the passengers” to a hospital in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh state police said in a tweet.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “pained by the loss of lives in a tragic bus accident” and offered condolences to the bereaved families.
“I hope the injured recover soon,” he said, noting that benefits of $2,600 would be given to the survivors of those killed while $655 would be dispensed to those injured in the accident.