33 people were killed on Saturday after a bus carrying staff of an agriculture university slipped off the road into a deep gorge in Raigad district of Maharashtra. A person identified as Prakash Sawant has been pulled out alive from the mangled remains of the bus. NDRF teams from Pune have rushed to the accident site near the popular tourist destinations of Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani.
According to initial reports, the staff members of Dapoli Agriculture University were going for a picnic when the accident took place.
Rescue efforts were severely hampered by heavy rains lashing the Western Ghats, besides poor connectivity in the remote hills in the area.
The accident came to notice after one of the injured passengers managed to climb up and alerted the authorities.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra government on Saturday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to te kin of the deceased. The government will also bear the medical expenses of the injured.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the tragic accident. Taking to Twitter, he wrote; "pained by the loss of lives due to the bus accident. My condolences to those who lost their loved ones".
Expressing grief over the loss of lives in this accident, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday asked his party workers to provide all possible assistance to injured and the family of those were killed.
"I'm sorry to hear about the terrible bus accident in Raigad, Maharashtra in which a large number of people have been killed and many others injured. I appeal to Congress party workers in the area to provide all possible assistance to the injured & families of those who have died," he tweeted.
WATCH: Bus accident in Maharashtra's Raigad kills 20