At least 14 people, including a child, were killed after a tempo (small passenger truck) and truck collided on a national highway in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool district on early Sunday morning.
As per reports, the passengers, who belonged to two families from Chittoor and Kadapa districts, were on a pilgrimage from Madanapalli in Chittoor to Ajmer in Rajasthan. People usually prefer roadways as there is no rail services available between Madanapalle to Ajmer, which is approximately 1,900 kilometers.
Accident due to overspeeding
Out of the total 18 travellers, four other passengers, all children, were the only survivors in the incident but sustained severe injuries.
The accident took place near Madarpur village of Veldurti mandal in Kurnool district at around 4 a.m. today when the overspeeding tempo, which initially rammed into a divider on Hyderabad – Bengaluru National Highway 44, lost control and then hit a truck.
Preliminary investigation by the police has reported that the driver dozed off and was over speeding the vehicle which further resulted in the accident.
Among the 14 people who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident, eight were women, five were men and one was a child. The bodies of the deceased were taken to the Kurnool Government General Hospital mortuary.
Meanwhile, the four children, identified as Yasmin, Asma, Kashim (10) and Mustaq (12) based on their Aadhaar Cards, were immediately shifted to a nearby hospital. Kurnool Collector G Veerapandian has further given orders to provide treatment to them for free of cost. Doctors have said that their condition was alarming.
Extend all possible help
"It's an unfortunate incident. The police rushed to the spot immediately. We are yet to find the cause of the accident. However, from the preliminary investigation, it seems that the driver was sleepy. We will further investigate the issue with a technical team to find if there was any issue with the vehicle," Kurnool district Superintendent of Police Dr K Pakirappa informed the media, adding that the bodies will be shifted to the respective hometown after postmortem.
The tempo was found crushed with all the bodies were trapped within it. Rescuers had to pull out the bodies of the tempo with the help of a crane. Andhra Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock over the tragic incident and extended condolences to the families of the deceased.
District Collector Veerapandian said that they have been directed to go to the spot and provide relief measures and better treatment to the injured.
Expressing grief, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter saying, "The road accident in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool district is saddening. In this hour of sadness, my thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. I hope that the injured recover at the earliest."