Overspeeding led to accident: Survivor

Overspeeding led to accident: Survivor

“The conductor of the bus was warning the driver Gangappa not to drive so fast, but he did not heed,” Anita, an intermediate first year student, one of the few students that escaped unhurt.

Speaking to TV channels on the spot, the young girl in college uniform, recalling the last few minutes of the accident, said that students were also shouting at the conductor to tell the driver to go slow. “The driver was adamant and has been yelling out that he was doing extra duty for someone else,” Anita said. The girl says that then she lost her senses for a while and woke only after her lecturer Balaji rescued her from the middle of the bus.

“The bus picked up speed to pass through the slope. The driver turned right to save an auto and I thought the tyre busrt and I don’t know what happened later,”  Aravind Reddy, a senior intermediate student, receiving treatment at Hindupur government hospital said.

“We were travelling behind the bus and saw that it was turning to right towards the gorge. Even before anyone could react the bussfell into a deep gorge. I wondered why he turned right towards the gorge, should have stayed on the left,” Ellanna the driver of a SUV told media.

Madakasira MLA Eranna, expressing similar feelings, blamed the regional manager of the APSRTC for the accident. “When the authorities know that there was repair working going on the Ghat section, why they did not change the route? I was told that the APSRTC, in its drive to save a few bucks, has reduced the number of trips between Madakasira and Penugonda forcing many students to sit even on the top of the bus,” he added.`

Many of the parents of the students say that the busses are quite old and lack timely maintenance. “ APSRTC drivers have been complaining about bad breaks. The drivers say that the buses operating on the ghat section come to a complete halt only after 15 to 20 feet, putting the lives of the students in peril,” parent of an Intermediate student from Penumaka complained.

Meanwhile, local RTO officials say that the bus has a proper fitness certificate. “But the same driver allegedly involved in a similar incident a few years ago where he drove a similar bus into a water body near Hindupur,” the transport department officer said.

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