MUMBAI: Ten persons were killed and at least 22 others injured after a speeding bus collided with a truck in Maharashtra's Nashik district on Friday morning, police officials said.
Many of the 45 passengers of the private tourist bus were employees of a company located in Ambernath in Thane district who were heading for the temple town of Shirdi in Ahmednagar district, officials said.
At least six of the deceased were from Morivali village in Ambernath tehsil, said a local official.
The incident took place around 6 am on Nashik-Ahmednagar road near Pathare Shivar village in Nashik's Sinnar tehsil, around 180 km from Mumbai, officials said.
The deceased included seven women, two small boys and a man.
As per the state highway control room officials, one side of the two-lane Sinnar-Shirdi stretch of the road had been closed for some work near the accident spot.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of life in the incident and announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from the PM National Relief Fund to the next-of-kin of each deceased. The injured would be given Rs 50,000 each, the PMO tweeted.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde also announced financial help of Rs 5 lakh each for the kin of the deceased while ordering an inquiry into the cause of the accident.
Both the vehicles were completely wrecked after the collision.
While the front cabin of the truck was a mangled heap, the bus was virtually cut open along one side and reduced to a shell.
The injured were taken to the Government Rural Hospital and Yashwant Hospital in Sinnar.
In a tweet, Chief Minister Shinde expressed grief over the incident. The government will bear expenses of the treatment of the injured persons, a statement from his office said.
Shinde spoke to the Nashik divisional commissioner and asked him to shift the injured immediately to Nashik and Shirdi for treatment and also conduct an inquiry into the causes of the accident, it added.
Nashik collector Gangatharan D said that of the ten deceased persons, six have been identified.
Nashik guardian minister Dada Bhuse visited a hospital in Sinnar where some of the injured persons were undergoing treatment, he said.
Ambernath tehsildar Prashanti Mane told PTI that the six deceased who have been identified so far were residents of Morivali village.
All of them worked as packers at Balaji Packing Company, and it was a tradition with the company employees to arrange tours to pilgrimage sites every year, she said.
A pall of gloom descended on the village as news of the tragedy came.
Local MLA Balaji Kinnikar visited the village and assured that government will extend all help to the victims' families.