The mangled Airavatha bus of the KSRTC which fell off a bridge at Shanthigrama near Hassan on Saturday. DH photo
Seven passengers were killed and 38 others sustained injuries after the KSRTC Airavata bus in which they were travelling fell off a bridge on National Highway 75, near Shantigrama in Hassan taluk early on Saturday morning.
The deceased have been identified as Bijo George (26), Diana (20), and Sonia (28) of Belthangady (all of a same family), Rakesh Prabhu (26) of Dharmasthala, Gangadhar (50) of Bapujinagar in Bengaluru, bus driver Shivappa Chalavadi (42) of Basavanabagevadi and conductor Lakshman of Raichur. All the injured were admitted at Hassan district hospital and NDRK Hospital.
The Dharmasthala-bound bus with 45 passengers had left Bengaluru at 11.45 pm on Friday. When it reached Shantigrama, the speeding vehicle hit the road divider and fell off the bridge around 3.30 am. Soon after the accident, local people alerted the police who shifted the injured to hospital.
The police suspect overspeed or driver's negligence as the reason for the accident. However, a press release issued by the KSRTC in Bengaluru said that as per the tracking and monitoring system records, the speed of the bus was 59 km/hr at the time of the accident. The fitness certificate of the bus was valid till April 12. According to the Corporation, driver of the bus Shivappa Chalavadi had been serving for nine years and was not involved in any accidents.
Transport Minister H M Revanna has announced Rs 3 lakh compensation to the families of the deceased and has assured of bearing the medical expenses of the injured.