HASSAN: Seven people were killed and 24 others injured when a KSRTC bus overturned and fell into a 20-foot-deep ditch on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru NH 75 near Shantigrama in Hassan taluk early Saturday.
The bus, proceeding from Bengaluru to Dharmasthala, had 43 passengers on board. The bus left Kempegowda Bus Station in Bengaluru at 11pm and the tragedy occurred around 3.20 am, according to Yashavant Kumar, divisional controller of KSRTC.
The front portion of the bus was badly damaged and those dead were all in the front seats. The dead included the driver and the conductor of the bus.
Passengers who could come out of the bus called up the police and ambulance seeking help.
Preliminary reports say that the driver may have lost control over the vehicle as he was feeling drowsy.
However, a KSRTC official said the driver may have lost control of the bus when a speeding vehicle overtook it from the left. The bus then crashed into a side barricade and fell into the ditch.
Rahul Kumar Shahapurwad, SP, Hassan, rushed to the spot and shifted the injured to HIMS hospital. While 24 have been admitted to NDRK private hospital, four are in HIMS hospital in Hassan. All are out of danger.
One of the survivors, Siddaiah of Garag in Kolar district, said, “It was around 3.30am when we came out of the bus. No vehicle stopped despite our pleas. Vehicles started stopping only after the arrival of an ambulance. We made efforts to shift the seriously injured to the ambulance. Five ambulances were pressed into service. I fell unconscious for a few minutes while shifting bodies.”
H M Revanna, Minister for Transport, has announced `3 lakh compensation each for the kin of the deceased. KSRTC officials have released `15,000 as interim compensation to the next of the kin of the deceased and will bear the expenses of the injured.
Holiday ended in tragedy
Gangadhar M G, a resident of Bapujinagar in Bengaluru, who was killed in the mishap, often went to Dharamasthala along with his family. On Saturday, Gangadhar was travelling with his wife Sudha, son Srikanth and daughter Madhusri. His wife and kids are recovering at a private hospital.