51, including children, women, killed as bus falls into Telangana valley

Sergio Conner
September 12, 2018

At least 55 people, including four children, have died after an overcrowded bus ran off the road and into a gorge in southern India. Among the deceased were 32 women, five children and 15 men, confirmed Telangana Finance Minister E Rajender.

Fifty-two people were killed and several were injured after a state-owned Road Transport Corporation bus carrying pilgrims from a temple in the hills of Telangana's Jagtiyal district plunged off a road into a 30-foot gorge on Tuesday morning.

At least 33 people more were injured in the crash, which happened when the driver hit a speed bump and lost control, authorities said.

According to official sources, the police had advised heavy vehicles and those carrying passengers to avoid the accident-prone ghat road and instead use an alternate route - via Nachupally and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad (JNTUH, Jagtial) to Kondagattu temple road, which is eight kilometre longer and does not have a ghat section. Numerous injured can be seen bleeding, even as locals rushed to the spot to help. A lot of them were devotees returning after offering prayers at Anjaneya Swamy temple on the hillock. The police said this was one of the worst highway tragedies in the state.

Officials told BBC Telugu the speeding bus veered off the narrow village road after the driver lost control.

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Some of those believed to be among the original 60 passengers on board have reportedly been taken to hospital with injuries after the bus fell off the Kondagattu Ghat Road in the Jagtial district, Telangana.

Telangana minister and CM KCR's son KT Rama Rao has also expressed grief over the incident.

He also asked officials to provide immediate medical assistance to the injured, a release by the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish over the loss of lives in the accident. He announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia to the kin of the each of the deceased.

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