Two truck drivers were killed and another seriously injured in an accident near Avalahalli when they were returning to Bangalore from the Mandur landfill after dumping the City's garbage early on Monday.
The injured, son of one of the drivers who died, is undergoing treatment at a government hospital.
Penchalaiah (52), a resident of Kumbaragundi near JC Road, was returning to the City after unloading his truck at Mandur landfill at about 1 am, according to sources in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). He was accompanied by his son Nagesh (22).
There were five trucks returning from Mandur. Penchalaiah's truck was third in the sequence.
BBMP sources said the first truck developed some snag and suddenly came to a halt, causing all the five trucks to crash into each other.
The collision claimed Penchalaiah’s life. Nagesh, who was sitting next to Penchalaiah, saw the imminent danger and jumped off the vehicle. This saved his life. But he broke his leg and sustained injuries all over his body.
Penchalaiah has transported Bangalore’s garbage to landfills for 25 years. He is survived by five sons and a daughter.
Sources said the driver of the second truck, Muniraju, also died instantly. He was also a garbage transporter, working for a private garbage contractor.
2nd death not confirmed
A few more people sustained minor injuries. However, the Avalahalli police have declined to confirm the reports of Muniraju’s death.
Emotions ran high at the Bowring Hospital morgue where the autopsy on Penchalaiah's body was performed.
BBMP’s truck drivers vented their anger at what they said was ‘immense stress’ they experienced on a daily basis in their efforts to keep the City clean. Venkatesh, a garbage transporter on the Palike's roll, said the truck drivers rarely get time to rest. He said they work at least 20 hours a day.
Crowd jeers Mayor
Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy, who visited the mortuary to condole Penchalaiah's death, was jeered by the crowd assembled at Bowring Hospital.
He extended his condolences to the victims’ families and gave them a Rs five-lakh cheque each as relief.
However, the truck drivers demanded something be done, citing the difficult
circumstances they work in. BBMP authorities have said they will look into the demands.