HYDERABAD: The tragedy is far from over. The death toll following the RTC bus accident near Kondagattu village on Tuesday rose to 61. The blame game over who is responsible for the worst-ever accident in the State has also intensified. Highly placed sources have confirmed that the primary reason for the mishap was driver’s inability to apply brakes while negotiating a sharp turn on the ghat road.
Officials investigating the incident also claim that bus driver Srinivas, who recently received the ‘best driver award’, was ‘forced’ to take the short route by local passengers in order to save time. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one of the officials said: “The bus usually plies through a longer route. But, local passengers insisted the driver take the ghat road.”
“The locals have also removed a height restricting barricade put up on that stretch to facilitate the free movement of the bus through that road,” he added. Regarding the role of the driver, the official said: “While driving downhill, focus, usually, is needed only on steering the vehicle in the right direction. Gravity will take care of the rest. Many drivers have the habit of not keeping their foot on break, clutch or accelerator; it’s very wrong."
"We suspect that could have been the reason for the accident. While going downhill, the driver encountered three ill-placed speed breakers, which are 1-foot above the road level. This threw the bus out of the driving time and it’s likely Srinivas did not have much time to react,” the official added.
Officials feel the roads and buildings department is also at fault, for having constructed speed breakers at such a point.