MUMBAI: At least 30 bodies have been retrieved from a gorge where a bus packed with picnickers fell in Raigad district of Maharashtra yesterday, killing 33 people, the police said today.
The rescue operation was underway at Ambenali Ghat near Poladpur town, located around 180 km from here.
The police, fire brigade, teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and local trekkers were making efforts to pull out all bodies from the accident spot, a senior police official said.
So far, 30 bodies have been recovered and handed over to the relatives after completion of the due formalities, he said.
As the gorge is over 500-feet deep and located off a slippery road, the rescue teams are finding it difficult to retrieve the bodies, he said.
The rescue teams had initially managed to trace 14 bodies, but it took nearly six hours to pull out the other corpses because of the difficult terrain of the area which is surrounded by dense vegetation, the official said.
Senior police officials, including Raigad's superintendent of police, were at the spot, he said.
The private bus was carrying 34 staff members of the Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth at Dapoli on a picnic when it fell into the 500-feet deep gorge at Ambenali Ghat yesterday afternoon.
Earlier, SP Anil Paraskar had said the passengers were on their way to Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in Satara district in Western Maharashtra, when the driver lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a turn and it fell into the gorge.
The lone survivor, Prakash Sawant, had said mud and loose stones on that particular stretch of the ghat road caused the bus tyres to skid.