YADADRI-BHUVANAGIRI: Fifteen women and a six-year-old boy who were travelling on a tractor in Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri district on Sunday morning had no clue that it was going to be their last journey. The careless attitude of the driver claimed all their lives and injured 12 others as the vehicle fell into a canal of the Musi river near Lakshmipuram village.
The women belonged to Vemulakonda village in the district. Venkata Narayana, who had hired them as farm hands to plant cotton seeds on land that he had hired, was driving the tractor trolley. The toddler who died in the accident was his son. Narayana was ferrying 28 labourers to his field, at around 10 am on Sunday, with his son plonked by his side.
When the vehicle was crossing a tank bund, Narayana tried to light a cigarette while holding the steering with just one hand. Suddenly, he noticed a bike coming from the opposite direction. He tried to apply brakes, but lost control and drove the tractor into the canal where it turned turtle. While he escaped unhurt, death was instantaneous for 16 of them who were crushed under the tractor.
It was the injured who informed that the accident happened due to the carelessness of the driver. The injured are being treated at Ramannapet area hospital. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao expressed shock over the incident and directed the officials concerned to ensure that proper medical treatment is provided to all the injured persons. Energy Minister G Jagadish Reddy visited the spot and later consoled the bereaved families. He announced Rs 2 lakh ex gratia to the kin of each deceased person.