Two students died on the spot and 15 others were injured when a truck hit a school bus at Kodikonda checkpoint in Chilamathur mandal on Monday morning.
The mini-bus belonging to Sai Yesu Vidya Niketan, a private school in Chilamathur, was on its way to the school after picking up students from Diguvapalle, Diguvapalle Tanda, Balijapalle, Mourampalle and other neighbouring villages in the mandal when the mishap occurred. Altogether there were 70 students in the mini-bus.
A speeding truck going to Bengaluru from Penukonda hit the bus, which overturned right on the road and skidded. Two students, V Soni and VG Kishore, studying in class II, died on the spot and 15 others were injured. and were rushed to hospitals in Bagepalle and Hindupur.
A nursery student Sanjana, who was admitted to the Hindupur hospital, was later sent to a private hospital in Bengaluru as her condition turned critical. Drivers of both the bus and truck fled away.
Many passersby and locals who had gathered in large numbers at the Kodikonda checkpoint on NH-44 after the accident, said no official reached the spot even after an hour since the accident. Angered by the callousness of the officials, they attacked tahsildar Gopala Krishna and SI Sadgurudu on their late arrival. They also attacked the school correspondent Narasimha Reddy when he reached the scene.
People also torched the truck and the school bus and blocked the highway displaying the bodies of the two children. They demanded that the government construct a flyover there.
When Hindupur MP Nimmala Kishtappa and MLA T Abdul Ghani visited the spot, the crowd vented their ire at them and demanded construction of a flyover. The leaders too joined the crowd .
After prolonged persuation by officials, the angry crowd withdrew the road blockade around 1 p.m. Penukonda RDO BR Eswar announced a compensation of `1 lakh and an Indiramma House to the kin of the deceased. Meanwhile, Chilamathur police arrested school correspondent Narasimha Reddy and launched a hunt for the drivers.