MUMBAI: The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) wound up rescue mission on Sunday after its rescue personnel retrieved 30 bodies from the site where a bus had fallen into a deep gorge at Maharashtra’s Raigad district.
Earlier, officials stated that the bus had 34 passengers and only one of them survived. However, it was found that there were 31 passengers traveling in the bus.
All the victims were staff of the Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth (KKV) at Dapoli in Ratnagiri district.
They were on a two-day holiday trip to Mahabaleshwar on an extended weekend. Those who were on the ill-fated bus included four superintendents, four deputy superintendents, nine senior clerks, 11 junior clerks, one lab boy and two drivers.
Poor connectivity, heavy rains, steep slope of the valley and the difficult terrine severely hampered the rescue operations. However, the officials declared that all the bodies have been recovered.The victims had stopped at a waterfall just before the bus met with accident. As the bus started climbing up the narrow hill road a few minutes after they all enjoyed the waterfall, the driver lost control and the vehicle plunged into the gorge, Prakash Sawant-Desai, the lone survivor, said.
All the bodies were taken to Dapoli on Sunday where they are likely to be cremated on Monday, authorities said.As the tragedy struck the small town at Ratnagiri district in Konkan region, the market places remained shut there throughout the day to mourn the loss of lives.