Hyderabad: The driver of the bus that plunged into a ravine in Telangana was conferred with the best driver award by the government last month, officials said on Wednesday even as the toll in the accident rose to 58 with a woman succumbing to injuries on Wednesday.
The overcrowded state-run bus had swerved off the road and hurtled down a hillside into a gorge on Tuesday, killing 58 people and injuring 28 others in one of the worst highway tragedies in recent memory.
The accident involving the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) bus occurred on the ghat section of the road near Shanivarapet village some 200 km from Hyderabad.
The TSRTC has submitted a preliminary report to the government indicating that the accident occurred when the driver, who was also killed, either lost control while trying to avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle or negotiating a sharp downhill curve, a corporation official said.
A police officer said the number of those killed rose to 58 on Wednesday when a woman succumbed to injuries during treatment. Twenty-seven people are still undergoing treatment in hospitals in Jagtial and Karimnagar districts and the condition of at least three is serious. All the bodies were identified and handed over to the families after autopsy, Jagtial Deputy Superintendent of Police Venkat Ramana told PTI.
Some of the victims were pilgrims returning to Jagtial from the temple town of Kondagattu after offering prayers at the famous Hanuman temple.
The deceased were from nearby villages and most were daily commuters.