At least 15 people drowned on Saturday when a private bus they were travelling in plunged into a canal in Karnataka’s Mandya district, police said.

“At least 15 people have drowned as the private bus fell into a canal at 11.30 a.m. at Pandavapura. Prima facie, the accident seems to have occurred due to the driver’s negligence,” a police officer from the office of Mandya Superintendent of Police (SP) told IANS.

“Over 30 people were travelling in the bus, which also had several school children,” he added.

District officials along with locals were still recovering bodies from the canal.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy directed the district officials and in-charge Minister C.S. Puttaraju to monitor the rescue operations.