Taidala Archana, a Class IX student, was accompanying her mother Pushpa when the overloaded bus they were travelling from their village Tirumalapur of Kodimyal Block in Jagitial district fell into a gorge killing 60 people.
She survived the accident but her mother died in her lap while being shifted to the Jagtial area hospital.
"I was suffering from viral fever for a week. So my mother and I took the bus from our village to Jagtial. However, we found that the bus driver was taking the bus towards Kondagattu and we objected saying that the bus is already to the brim and there is no more place in it," Archana who broke her limbs in the accident told DH.
Even the conductor started shouting at the driver, who was not in a mood to listen, Archana said.
A few more people boarded the bus at the temple stop in Kondagattu and the driver then took the bus down the ghat road that links it with the Jagtial highway.
"I remember that the driver started shouting that the breaks have failed and asked us to jump out of the bus before losing control over it. I saw one man jumping out but later discovered his body on the boulders,” recalled Archana.
But her ordeal was not over yet. After she pulled herself out of the bus window she ran up to the hillock to seek help.
By the time she went back she found that a few people were carrying her injured mother.
Without a single rupee in her pocket, she saw to it that her mother was taken in one of the ambulances.
However, her mother died on the way to the hospital.
"At the hospital, I found one of our relative searching for me. But the ambulance staff demanded Rs 2,700 to take the body to our village. I pleaded with them but they were stubborn," a shaken Archana said.
Finally, she mustered enough courage and got the tank of the ambulance filled in one of the fuel stations where her cousin worked and reached home.
Archana’s father Taidala Durgaiah and sister Bhavani were lucky as they stayed back at home.