Maharashtra Accident Toll Climbs to 25: Officials

The death toll in the accident involving a state government bus and an autorickshaw near Malegaon had risen to 25, officials said here on Wednesday.

The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation bus and the autorickshaw had collided and plunged into a well on the busy Malegaon-Deola Road on Tuesday evening. At least 18 passengers were reported killed, with another 30 rescued.

At least two persons had still not been accounted for, whereas 10 persons seriously injured were admitted in local hospitals. Even as the two ill-fated vehicles had been fished out by late Tuesday, teams of local rescuers and the National Disaster Response Force continued efforts to trace the missing passengers amid fears of further increase in the death toll.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had announced an ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of deceased persons.
Transport Minister Anil Parab had directed district authorities to ensure all help to the survivors, including treatment.

The police are probing the cause of the mishap. The bus was ferrying around 40 passengers while there was no information on the number of passengers in the autorickshaw.

The process to conduct autopsies on the bodies, identify the deceased, and handing over the bodies to the relatives was underway, officials said.


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