At least 32 people were killed and 21 others injured when a private tourist bus carrying pilgrims fell off a bridge near Osmanabad town in Maharashtra around 2 am on Saturday.

The ill-fated bus, belonging to Kaveshwari Travels, with at least 50 pilgrims onboard is said fell off a bridge while travelling from Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh to Shirdi in Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, according to police sources.

The bus reportedly overturned four or five times and caught fire before it fell off the 30 ft below the bridge. As many as 15 women and 14 men are among the dead. Some of the victims are said to be from the software company Tata Consultancy Services.

The driver of the private bus was reportedly in an inebriated state and was over-speeding.

The victims have not been identified yet. "As the injured are shifted to other hospitals, there is no way we could confirm the victims' identity. We are awaiting arrival of the victims' relatives," a Hindu report quoted Osmanabad police officials as saying.

Injured passengers have been taken to Osmanabad, Latur, Solapur and other nearby hospitals. Many are said to be in critical condition and the death toll is expected to rise.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has directed officials to provide all help to the victims and their families.

The Maharashtra government has set up two help-lines for enquiries: 02472 222900, 02472 222700