All 30 bodies retrieved from gorge in Maharashtra bus accident
As all the bodies were retrieved, the police called off the rescue operation at Ambenali Ghat near Poladpur town, located around 180 km from here, Kundan Gawde, PRO, Raigad Police, said.
Asked about the death toll, he said, "We have received information from the Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth in Dapoli that only 31 staff members were traveling in the ill-fated bus and not 34 (as reported earlier)."
Of the 31 persons, including the driver, only one -- Prakash Sawant-Desai -- survived the accident as he jumped out of the bus, he added.
They had hired the private bus for a picnic and were headed towards Mahabaleshwar, a popular hill station in Satara district in Western Maharashtra, last afternoon when the tragedy struck at Ambenali Ghat, the police added.
The bus skidded off the road and tumbled into the 500-foot-deep gorge, while the driver was negotiating a turn.
Those involved in the operation came across difficulties in retrieving the bodies as the gorge was over 500 feet deep and located off a slippery road, he added.
They had initially managed to trace 14 bodies, but it took nearly six hours to pull out the other bodies because of the difficult terrain, which was surrounded by dense vegetation, the official said.
Senior police officials, including Raigad's superintendent of police, are stationed at the spot.
Sawant-Desai, the lone survivor in the incident, had said mud and loose stones on that particular stretch of the ghat road had caused the bus to skid.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)