32 killed in bus accident
The Shirdi-bound vehicle falls into a river
Ten employees of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) from Hyderabad are among the 32 people feared killed in a bus accident on Saturday morning on the Maharashtra border.
Among the victims were 14 women from Andhra Pradesh. The Shirdi-bound Volvo bus belonging to Sri Kaleshwari Travels fell into a river near Jalkot at Osmanabad in Maharashtra on the Hyderabad-Sholapur highway when the driver lost control of the vehicle.
According to Andhra Pradesh Transport Minister Botsa Satyanarayana, at least 46 people, including children, were travelling in the bus when the accident occurred. Twenty-nine people were killed on the spot. One died in hospital in Sholapur. Six people were critically injured.
The travel agency said it could not offer the contact details of the victims as many of them had booked their seats either online or through other agencies in the state.
Sri Kaleshwari travel agency organised a bus from its office to the accident spot to transport the relatives of the victims to attend on the injured passengers undergoing treatment at Sholapur hospital.
A TCS spokesperson told reporters that two teams from Hyderabad and Pune have been dispatched to Sholapur to confirm the names of the dead and to bring back the injured to Hyderabad.
“We do not have the details of the employees as they had gone on a private trip.
However, we have information that four had escaped death. We have nothing to report on the deceased,” Rajanna from TCS said.
The TCS has set up a round-the-clock help desk to provide information to the relatives of its employees.
The bus accident also killed five members of a seven-member family from Bodelaveedu of Veldurti mandal in Guntur district.
The five were identified as Gundapaneni Venkateswarlu, Mohan Rao, Krishnaiah, Ademma and Savitramma. The family had booked their tickets from a travel agent near Nizampet here.
“Our cousin who lost her husband and had a broken pelvis in the accident was saying on TV that the driver, after a brief dinner break near Zaheerabad, stopped the vehicle at a bar and had a few drinks. He narrowly missed two vehicles before plunging the bus into the gorge,” a relative said.
There was chaos at the agency’s office as frantic relatives tried pricing out any little information they could from the operator.
However, details started to come in only after Saifabad police got in touch with the Maharashtra police.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and Chief Secretary Pankaj Chaturvedi spoke to their respective counterparts in Maharashtra asking for care and safe transport of the injured.
While ordering the transport department to take prompt action against Kaleswari Travels, the chief minister also wanted strong action against erring tour operators in the state.
AP Minister D Sridhar Babu, who rushed to Sholapur, announced that an inquiry has been ordered and action will be taken based on the report.
He also announced that the state will bear the medical expenses of the injured, while Rs 1 lakh will be given to relatives of the dead from the CM’s relief fund.
He said the bodies of those dead in the accident will be brought to Osmania Hospital here and will be kept at the mortuary.YSR Congress Party chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy offered condolences to the bereaved families
He despatched the message through the elected MLAs who met him at the Chanchalguda jail on Saturday. Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu also expressed shock over the dent and conveyed his condolences.