A van carrying pilgrims from Tirupati temple fell into Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday, killing 22 people, including six children.
The van fell off the Dowleswaram bridge in Andhra Pradesh's East Godavari district, after the driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle a little after midnight on Saturday.
The victims, including nine women and six children, were from the Achutapuram village of Visakhapatnam. They were all relatives, according to IANS.
As the water level was shallow at the Dowleswaram barrage, where the accident occurred, most of the victims died on the spot from the impact of the crash, while one died after being taken to a hospital.
Only a 13-year-old boy miraculously survived the accident and was rescued. He is, however, reportedly in a critical condition.
"A group of people were returning from Tirupati after visiting the temple. The vehicle driver appeared to have lost control and hit a wall of the bridge and fell off into Godavari River," a police official told the Press Trust of India.
The van was reportedly overcrowded, with the number of passengers exceeding the capacity limit of 12.
The driver was also allegedly overspeeding before the accident, according to reports.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu tweeted saying that he was "deeply saddened" by the accident, and that the Home Minister had visited the spot.
Deeply saddened about tragic death of 21 people travelling in a van after it fell off Dowleswaram bridge. I'm monitoring the situation.(1/2)
— N Chandrababu Naidu (@ncbn) June 13, 2015
The kid, a lone survivor, is undergoing treatment. Spoke to our Home Minister who visited the spot. We're providing all possible help. (2/2) — N Chandrababu Naidu (@ncbn) June 13, 2015
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also conveyed condolences:
Loss of lives due to a bus accident in East Godavari district, AP is saddening & unfortunate. My deepest condolences: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 13, 2015
Major accident near Rajamundhry Devaleshwaram barrage. 21 suspected dead. First pictures from scene. pic.twitter.com/Ynepz9W25Y
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 13, 2015