27 killed as bus plunges into Maharashtra ravine

Thane (Maharashtra), Jan 2 (IANS) At least 27 people, including 13 women, were killed and 11 others injured when a state transport bus fell into a 400-feet-deep ravine after colliding with a truck loaded with wood in Maharashtra’s Malshej Ghats Thursday, police said.

The accident occurred around 10.30 a.m. when the Thane-Ahmednagar bus of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) plunged into the ravine after the truck coming from the opposite direction hit it, an MSRTC spokesperson said.
While the bus, with 38 passengers onboard, fell down the narrow ravine, the truck overturned near a steep curve on the road.
An earlier report said the bus driver lost control of his vehicle near a steep curve.
The accident occurred barely an hour after the bus started its journey to Ahmednagar, 235 km from here, police said.
The truck driver was arrested, said police official Hemant Patil from Thane.
Helped by villagers, police and fire-fighters from Thane and Pune were engaged in rescue operation the whole day.
The rescue operation was, however, severely hampered by the steep slopes and erratic communication network.
The injured have been taken to hospitals in Murbad and Thane, police said.