At least 10 people, including four school students, were killed Tuesday when a bus skidded off a bridge and plunged into a lake near Belur in Karnataka's Hassan district, a police official said.
"The incident occurred around 10 a.m. when a crowded state-run bus skidded and plunged into the Vishnu Samudra lake..." state Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ramachandra Rao told IANS here.
Hassan is about 200 km from Bangalore.
Quoting an eyewitness, Rao said about 50-60 passengers were travelling in the ill-fated bus. The driver tried to avoid colliding with a oncoming vehicle and swerved to the left, crashed into the bridge railings and skidded into the lake filled to the brim with rain water.
"Attempting to avoid a head-on collision, the driver swung the bus to extreme left, lost balance and plunged into the lake. The toll could rise as there were many youth in the bus," Rao said.
Till noon, eight bodies were pulled out of the lake and rescue operations were in full swing. Five of the injured were rushed to the district hospital here for treatment.
The twin temple towns of Belaur-Halebid are a famous religious and tourist spot in the southern state as they were once the capital of the Hoysala kingdom during the 12th century.