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Fifty-one people, including several women and children, were killed, and many suffered injuries on Tuesday morning when a Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) bus plunged into a gorge from the Kondagattu ghat road in Jagtial district. Earlier reports said 40 people were killed.
The death toll rose to 51 as the severely injured passengers died of their injuries at the Jagtial Area Hospital. More than two dozen passengers died on the spot and bodies of seven children have been recovered.
The bus, belonging to the Jagtial depot, had more than 60 passengers, who reportedly came to the hillock temple at Kondagattu. It was going from Shanivarampeta village to Jagtial via the Kondagattu ghat road and Muthyampet villages when the accident happened.
Eyewitness accounts said the bus was overcrowded.
Driver loses control of vehicle at curve
Initial reports said the bus driver lost control of the vehicle at the third sharp curve, resulting in the bus plunging into the gorge. Most of the passengers lost balance and fell on the right side of the bus leading to the accident. Many due to suffocation as they fell on one another.
Some four-wheelers following the bus stopped and launched a rescue operation with the help of the locals. The severely injured were rushed to the Jagtial hospital.
Jagtial Collector A. Sharath, SP Sindhu Sharma and Karimnagar Police Commissioner Kamalhasan Reddy, and other officials reached the spot and shifted the injured to the Jagtial hospital.
The bodies have been shifted to the hospital pending post mortem.
K.Chandrashekhar Rao expresses shock
Chief Minister K.Chandrashekhar Rao expressed shock over the road accident. In a message, he expressed his condolences to the families of those killed. He directed the officials concerned to provide immediate medical assistance to the injured. He announced ₹5 lakh as ex-gratia for the family members of the deceased.
Minister for Finance and Civil Supplies Etala Rajender expressed shock and grief over the accident and instructed the officials to take all measures to provide proper medicare. Nizamabad MP Kavitha also expressed grief over the accident.
In separate statements, Congress Legislature Party leader K. Jana Reddy, TPCC chief N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and YSRCP president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy also expressed shock at the loss of lives.