As many as 37 have died and several persons are missing after a bus fell off a bridge into a canal in Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district on Tuesday morning, ANI reported. The mishap took place near Patna village.

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Eighteen bodies were taken out from the canal, said Umesh Joga, Inspector General (Rewa zone), earlier in the day, PTI reported. The dead include seven women.

"At least 20 other passengers are feared missing, and a search and rescue operation is underway," Joga said.

At least seven persons swam to safety, the IG said.

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MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he was in constant discussion with the administration and those engaged in the relief work. 

There were at least 50 passengers in the bus when the accident took place, PTI reported quoting sources. 

PM Narendra Modi has approved an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakhs each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives in the accident, the PMO said. Rs 50,000 would be given to those seriously injured.