39 killed in bus accident in gujarat, india
Onlookers stand next to an overturned passenger bus that was washed away by flash floods in Bankura district of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal September 6, 2012. Reuters

Thirty-seven passengers died as a bus plunged into a river in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

Officials said, citing eyewitness accounts, the bus driver tried to maneuver the vehicle in a sharp turn apparently to save a rider but lost control and plunged into the river, breaking concrete railings.

As many as 27 others sustained injures. Since there wasn't much water in the Purna river, the fall had high impact on the ground, The Times of India reported.

The Indian Express newspaper put the number of dead at 39.

The accident took place near the town of Navsari, about 40km from Surat in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Gujarat State road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) bus met with the accident at 6 in the evening and officials said there were some 60 passengers in it, mostly school and college children returning home after classes.

"According to locals incident took place as bus driver driving at full speed tried saving a rider. May be he took a wrong turn and the bus plunged into Purna river breaking the RCC railing," the top district administrator in Navsari said, according to the TOI.

According to the officials, dozens of students from Naran Lala College and Agarwal college of Navsari were in the bus.

Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel announced Rs 4 lakh compensation to the elatives of each of the dead.