Death toll in Telangana bus accident rises to 61, KCR announces Rs 5 lakh ex gratia

While a suspected brake failure is said to be the cause of the accident, RTC depot manager at Vemulawada has told media that the bus was perfectly fit for travel.

Published: 11th September 2018 01:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2018 03:28 PM   |  A+A-

Crowd gathers at the accident site where the TSRTC bus fell in the gorge in Telangana. (Photo | By special arrangement)

Express News Service

KONDAGATTU: The worst accident in the history of the State-owned RTC in Telangana killed 61 people on Tuesday when a Palle Velugu bus fell into a 25-feet deep gorge. Among those dead, 37 were women and 5 children. On Tuesday morning, 86 passengers boarded the bus when it started from Kondagattu. Most of them were devotees returning after offering prayers at Anjaneya Swamy temple on the hillock. 

Video- Special Arrangement

As Tuesday prayers are considered auspicious, rush at the temple was high and most of the passengers in the bus were women and children.  The accident occurred at 11:45 am, just about five minutes after it started from the hillock. While negotiating a sharp turn, the bus was, according to an eyewitness, hit by a Tata Ace following which the driver lost control and fell into the gorge. 

Hearing the loud thud and cries for help, people working downhill and other motorists rushed to the spot and started rescuing passengers from the mangled bus. Without wasting time waiting for ambulances, rescuers shifted the injured in private vehicles to Jagtial Area Hospital. Jagtial District Collector A Sharath and SP Ch Sindhu Sharma rushed to the spot to monitor the rescue operations.  

About 65 passengers were in the bus at the time of the accident. ( Photo | Special Arrangement)

“There have been supervisory lapses by RTC depot manager Hanumantha Rao and we have suspended him,” said Sunil Sharma, Principal Secretary of Transport. While initial reports suggested that the driver did not notice a speed-breaker at a turning following which he lost control, Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy, who visited Jagtial later in the day, suspected there was a brake failure. “A detailed inquiry would be conducted to find out what went wrong,” he said. RTC depot manager Hanumantha Rao, however, contended the bus was perfectly fit for travel.  

Dr A Sadamohan, Superintendent of area hospital, said that most passengers had died of head injuries. The critically injured were shifted to government and private hospitals in Karimnagar. Eyewitnesses told Express that the bus was hit by a Tata Ace following which the driver lost control and drove off the road into the gorge. Biker Gangadhar, who was at the spot, said the bus rammed a railing along the road and toppled.  

AP Assembly mourns death of passengers 
Vijayawada: Both the AP Legislative Council and Assembly mourned the death of passengers in Telangana RTC bus accident. Chief Minister Naidu moved the condolence motion in both the Houses.

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