Seven people, including three women, were killed and 28 others injured when a bus fell into a 500-feet deep gorge in Tamil Nadu's hilly Nilgiris district, police said.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami expressed deep condolences and announced a solatium of Rs 2 lakh for the family of each of the deceased.
In an official release, Mr Palaniswami said six persons died on the spot, while another woman who was being treated at a hospital succumbed to injuries later.
The chief minister said, following his orders, the district collector, superintendent of police, and fire and rescue department officials expedited the relief operations.
Those injured have been admitted to various hospitals, he said.
The state-run transport corporation bus, which began its journey from Coonoor, fell into the gorge when its driver was trying to avoid a pit on the ghat road.
The accident occurred at Mandada, about 10 kms from here.
Nineteen people have been admitted to a government hospital in neighbouring Coimbatore while others were brought to the state-run hospital here.
Several parts of Nilgiris district have been receiving heavy rains for the past few days.