Fifteen people, mostly college students, were on Wednesday killed and 30 others injured when a state-run bus in which they were travelling fell down a dug up area adjoining a hilly road in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district.
Among the 15 deceased were 10 college students, including a girl, a forest guard and some other passengers, a police official said.
"The toll has risen to 15 with the death of some injured persons undergoing treatment at different hospitals. Most of the deceased are college students. At least 30 others are undergoing treatment at different hospitals in Bengaluru, Anantapur and Penukonda," Deputy Superintendent of Police, Penukonda (Sub-Division), N Subbarao said.
The accident occurred at around 8.30 am between Madakasira and Penukonda ghat road in the district where a long stretch of the area adjoining the road had been dug up and the road was being levelled, said the DSP, who is monitoring the rescue and relief work.
AP Home Minister N Chinna Rajappa ordered an inquiry into the mishap.
The state government also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the mishap and condoled the loss of lives. He also wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the accident.
AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu also expressed grief over the tragedy.
Nearly 50 people were travelling in the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation bus which was going to Penukonda from Madakasira, Anantapur District Superintendent of Police SV Rajshekhar Babu said.
He said that road work was going on near the accident spot and a large area was dug up on one side where the bus rolled down.
"It seems the driver tried to overtake an autorickshaw which resulted in the mishap," Subbarao said.
Police, revenue and RTC officials were engaged in relief operations, the official added.
Andhra Pradesh Transport Minister Sidda Raghava Rao said relief and rescue operations were underway at the accident spot.