At least 22 people were killed and several others were injured when a bus carrying them fell off a bridge in India's Madhya Pradesh today, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra said.
According to NDTV, the bus had 50 passengers on board and was on its way to Indore when it fell from a bridge in Khargone's Dasanga village.
Emergency services, assisted by local villagers, are engaged in the rescue operation, Mishra said.
Talking to Times of India, Khargone Sub-Divisional Officer (police) Rakesh Mohan Shukla said the Indore-bound bus fell off the bridge after the driver drove it through the railing.
He said that the river was completely dry.
From preliminary information, Shukla said the driver, who has not been traced yet, appeared to have had a bout of sleep and lost control of the vehicle, TOI reports.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced a compensation of 4 lakh rupees to the families of those who were killed in the accident, 50,000 rupees each to those who are "seriously" injured and 25,000 rupees each to people with minor injuries, the report said.
Chouhan's government will also bear the costs of treatment of those injured, NDTV reports. A probe is underway to determine the cause of the accident.
Meanwhile, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office today announced that a compensation of 2 lakh rupees each will be given to the families of those who died.
"An ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased in the bus accident in Khargone, Madhya Pradesh. The injured would be given Rs 50,000," the PMO's office tweeted.