NEW DELHI : At least 25 people were killed Saturday after a bus carrying them fell into a canal in southern Indian state of Karnataka, officials said.

The accident took place near Kanaganamaradi village of Mandya district, about 105 km west of Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka.

“Twenty five people were killed in today’s bus accident at Kanaganamaradi,” G Parameshwara, deputy chief minister of Karnataka told the media. “The bus skidded off the road this afternoon and plunged into a canal here.” The deceased include women and children, police said Reports said the bus was completely submerged in canal water of Cauvery river.

Following the accident locals and police rushed to the spot to carry out rescue work.

Authorities have pressed in divers to fish out bodies and help the survivors come out of canal.

Television images showed people holding ropes inside the canal to help pull the bus out of water.

The cause of the accident was not known immediately. However, police officials said preliminary investigations reveal the driver was rashly driving the bus.

The Chief Minister of Karnataka H D Kumaraswamy has expressed grief over the deaths in the accident and directed district administration and one of his ministers to rush to the spot to reach out to the victims.

A government spokesman said the chief minister has canceled all his programs and headed to the spot.

“The chief minister has advised the government to postpone the state cinema award ceremony that was scheduled to be take place this evening,” the spokesman said.

Reports said a boy who jumped out of the bus at the time of accident was the only survivor.

Deadly road accidents are common in India often caused due to overloading, bad condition of roads and reckless driving.

An official report says on an average 400 deaths take place every day in India due to road accidents.