VIJAYAWADA: At least 11 persons have died and 30 others suffered severe injuries when a speeding private travels bus hit a road divider and fell into a culvert near Moolapadu in Penuganchiprolu mandal near Vijayawada on Tuesday morning. The condition of around eight injured passengers is said to be critical. The injured have been rushed to the hospitals at Nandigama, Gollapudi and Vijayawada.
Some of the deceased have been identified as K Madhusudhan Reddy of Hyderabad, Panga Tulasamma from Santabommali in Srikakulam, Krishna Reddy from Suryapeta in Telangana, Sheik Basha from Bhavanipuram of Vijayawada, Baldev Singh from Cuttack and driver Adinarayana Reddy of Tadipatri.
Preliminary inquiry by the police revealed that the bus (AP 02 TC 7146) belonging to Diwakar Travels was going to Hyderabad from Bhubaneswar and had around 45 persons including two drivers and a cleaner. Most of the passengers boarded the bus in Bhubaneswar (14 passengers), Brahmapur (2), Srikakulam (15), Tekkali (4) and Visakhapatnam (15).
However, one passenger from Bhubaneswar got down the bus at Visakhapatnam and five others disembarked the bus in Vijayawada before the incident occurred.
The incident occurred at around 6 am when the bus reached Moolapadu. The onlookers informed the police that the bus fell into the culvert in the gap between two parallel bridges from a height of 22 feet. Many passengers were fast asleep when the incident occurred. The passersby and locals helped many injured passengers to get out of the bus and shifted them to nearby hospitals for treatment. The survivors said that they woke up as they felt the bus falling down.
Though the locals, passersby and the police came to their rescue, it took more than 40 minutes before they were rescued from the bus.
The police suspect the bus driver fell asleep but was driving at a full speed, resulting in the accident. The bus speed was so high that it fell off the bridge despite a three-feet high retaining wall. The transport department officials said that though the documentation of the bus was intact, the driver could be at fault and it is estimated that the vehicle was moving at a speed of 110 kmph. They said that The officials had difficulty in removing the mangled bodies crushed between the seats inside the bus. It took over four hours to remove all the bodies as well as the injured from the bus.
Sources said that the bus was registered in the name of JC Uma Reddy. The police registered a case against the Diwakar Travels management in connection with the accident.
Meanwhile, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock over the incident and asked the officials to provide all medical help to the injured passengers. Home minister N Chinarajappa and health minister Kamineni Srinivas directed the officials and transport to complete the post-mortem and other formalities for a speedy handover of the bodies to the family members.
Transport minister Sidda Raghava Rao ordered a probe into the incident. They condoled the deceased’s family members and made arrangements for shifting the bodies to their native places.
Here’s the list of 10 passengers of the bus, one victim remains to be identified:
Nalabolu Krishna Reddy (32) of Suryapeta, Telangana
Baldev Singh (39) of Bhubaneswar
Panga Tulasamma (45) of Santhabommali, Srikakulam
K Madhusudhana Reddy of Hyderabad
Sheik Basha of Bhavanipuram, Vijayawada
Vidyapathi (34) of Odisha
Nallabothu Sekhar Reddy of Kodada
Pattamsetti Prudvi of Ganapavaram village, Guntur
Mohd Tayyab of Bholapur, Hyderabad
Bus driver Adinarayana Reddy, Tadiparti