TIRUPATI: Five persons of a family, including three children, were charred to death while another suffered burns on Saturday when the car in which they were travelling caught fire after overturning on Chennai- Bengaluru National Highway No 69, at Mamadugu in Gangavaram mandal.
The victims were on their way to Bengaluru from Tirupati to visit their ailing relative.
Gangavaram police said that M Vishnu (41), a junior assistant in TTD, was driving the Volkswagen Polo when the mishap occurred. His wife M Jahnavi (40), son Pawan Ram (12), daughter Sai Akshita (9), his sister T Kala (40) and her son TK Bhanu Teja (19) died in the mishap.
Police said that Vishnu, who survived the mishap, in his statement said that after crossing Palamaner, he found smoke emanating from the car engine. Panicked over this, he tried to stop the car to check the reason for the smoke and steered it to a side of the road. But, Vishnu, who was driving at a high speed, lost control and the car crashed through the barricade into an agriculture field before overturning and bursting into flames. “As the petrol leaked from the tank, the car burst into flames,’’ police said.
Vishnu was thrown out of the vehicle as the door opened in the impact, but other members of his family were trapped in the car and burnt alive. Locals rushed to the spot and doused the flames engulfing Vishnu with a blanket. Their efforts to save others proved futile as the wind fanned flames.
Fire tenders rushed to the spot and doused the flames, but by then the occupants were burnt beyond recognition.
Vishnu who suffered 30 per cent burns was shifted to the government hospital in Palamaner. Gangavaram police said that they were proceeding to Bengaluru to visit his ailing father-in-law.
Chittoor Superintendent of Police Ch Venkata Appala Naidu along with other officials visited the spot.
Speaking to the media, the SP attributed over-speeding to the mishap.
The postmortem on the bodies were conducted and handed over to the relatives. Vishnu is a resident of Korlagunta in Tirupati.