16 killed, 50 injured in Andhra bus accident

ArrayHyderabad (IANS): At least 16 passengers, almost all of them college students, were killed and 50 were injured when a crowded bus slid down the road in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district Wednesday, police said.

The accident occurred between Penukonda and Madakasira, about 450 km from here.

The toll may go up as the condition of 13 of the injured was said to be critical. While 11 died on the spot, five succumbed at hospitals.

The bus belonging to the state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) was proceeding from Madakasira to Penukonda when the driver reportedly lost control while trying to avoid hitting an auto-rickshaw.

According to witnesses, the bus slid and fell off the road, about 15 km from Penukonda town. Work was going on there to widen the road.

Thirteen students including a girl were killed in the accident. Almost all students were of Class 11 and 12. Two students of Class 6 and 10 were also killed. The victims include a forest officer.

According to officials, 46 injured were undergoing treatment at a hospital in Hindupur and four in Anantapur.

The bus was carrying more than 60 passengers. Some of the injured said the negligence of the driver caused the accident. They said he was driving fast and did not heed to their warning.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock and grief over the accident.

Naidu announced a compensation of Rs.5 lakh each for the families of the dead and Rs.2 lakh each for the grievously injured.

Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister N. Chinna Rajappa announced a probe into the accident.