According to the police, 57 tourists from Thenkasi, on a one-day visit, had come to Ooty in a bus on Saturday morning.
While going downhill in the evening after visiting a few tourist places in Ooty and Coonoor, the driver lost control over the vehicle near and the vehicle fell into a 50-feet gorge.
“Fifty seven passengers and two drivers were in the bus. Rescue team comprising fire rescue personnel and police rushed to the spot and rescued 54 persons so far”, said the police.
The rescue operation is still in progress.
All the rescued passengers were brought to the Coonoor Government Lawley Hospital where eight of them were declared dead by the doctors while four are in a serious condition.
The remaining passengers are being treated for their injuries, said the police.
Five of the deceased were identified as V Nithin (15), S Babykala (36), S Murugesan (65), P Muppidathy (67), R Kowsalya (29), all from Kadayam in Thenkasi.
The remaining three deceased are yet to be identified by the police.
“Today, the weather condition was very bad due to constant rain in the hills and the roads were slippery. Due to fog, visibility was also bad. The bus fell into the gorge due to brake failure,” said the police.