In a tragic incident, 10 persons died and three others were injured in an accident on National Highway No. 5, near Singarayakonda village in Prakasam district on Monday.
A cement-laden lorry, which was proceeding to Pondicherry from Nalgonda, overturned after hitting a roadside tree around 1.30 am on Monday. Driver of the vehicle was in an inebriated condition at the time.
A passerby, Nellore Venkat Rao, who noticed that some people were stuck beneath the overturned vehicle, immediately called for the 108 ambulance service and informed the police.
Following this, a police team led by Singarayakonda CI T Ashokvardhan rushed to the spot and rescued the injured - Kondala Rao, Yacob and Abraham and shifted them to the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) Hospital at Ongole for treatment.
The police and revenue officials, with the help of two cranes, lifted the lorry and found 10 bodies under it. The deceased were identified as A Pitchaiah (65), A Ramesh (22), A Moses (16), S Hanuk (25), M Venkateswarlu (20) and G Solomon (83) of Yelchur village in Santamagalur mandal, K Nagabhushanam (25), V Atchaiah (48) and K Narsimhaiah (40) of Turpu Virayapalem of Darsi mandal.
CI Ashok said that they were yet to identify one body of a man. “As the body was damaged beyond recognition, it has become difficult for us to identify,” he added.
Meanwhile, the lorry driver and the cleaner, who escaped unhurt in the incident, fled the place after the accident. It is said that 12 persons boarded the lorry at Addanki to attend a gospel meeting in Chennai. But the lorry hit the divider and overturned, killing 10 of them on the spot. The CI also said that the injured were later shifted to a private hospital at Ongole from RIMS as their condition has worsened.
Prakasam district collector GSRKR Vijay Kumar said that `1 lakh ex gratia would be provided to relatives of the deceased. He also appealed to the people not to board lorries.