11 dead, 30 injured as bus falls off bridge in AP

11 dead, 30 injured as bus falls off bridge in AP

Eleven passengers, including a woman, died and 30 others suffered serious injuries when a private bus hit a retaining wall and fell into a gap between two parallel bridges near Vijayawada in the early hours of Tuesday.

According to Krishna district collector A Babu, the bus owned by Diwakar Travels was on its way to Hyderabad from Bhubaneswar via Visakhapatnam, carrying 45 people, including the driver and cleaner, when it hurtled down 22 feet.

The accident occurred around 5.40 am when the bus, after a brief halt at Vijayawada, reached Moolapadu near Penuganchiprolu mandal in Andhra Pradesh. “While seven passengers died on the spot, four died in hospitals during treatment. Of  the injured, the condition of four persons is said to be critical,” the collector said.

The injured were extricated from the mangled remains of the bus and rushed to  hospitals at Nandigama, Gollapudi and Vijayawada. Eye witnesses said that the bus first hit the two-foot high retaining wall and fell into the narrow gap between two parallel bridges.

Many passengers were fast asleep when the accident took place. Residents of Moolapadu rushed to the rescue of the victims and shifted the injured to nearby hospitals.

“Our guess is the driver might have dozed off at the wheel causing the accident. We also suspect that the bus must have been at a very high speed to hit the retaining wall and jump off the bridge into the gap,” said AP DGP Sambasiva Rao. “As bus driver Adinarayana Reddy of Tadipatri also died in the accident, we are ascertaining the cause from passengers,” he said.

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