At least 11 people were killed and more than 30 injured when a private bus going to Hyderabad fell into a canal in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday after hitting a road divider, Times of India reported.
Police said the official death toll is likely to increase as the front portion of the bus was mangled and several of the 60 passengers were trapped inside the vehicle.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, the incident occurred at around 5:30 am after the driver, A Narayana Reddy, fell asleep at the wheel and crashed the bus into a road divider, causing the bus to fall into a canal between two bridges beyond Mullapadu village, around 60 km from Vijayawada.
Most of the passengers, who were from Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad, Vishakapatnam and Srikakulam, were sleeping and were thrown off their seats. Seven passengers died on the spot, while three more succumbed to their injuries while being rushed to Nandigama Government Hospital. Currently, another ten remain critically injured.
Speaking to the Times of India, the deputy transport commissioner E. Meera Prasad, said that the bus was going at a speed of around 110 kmph and crashed against a three-foot high wall before tumbling down the bridge. Transport minister Sidda Raghava Rao has ordered a probe into the accident.
Police have registered a case against Diwakar Travels – the owner of the bus and the deputy chief minister N. Chinna Rajappa has directed the Krishna district police to continue carrying out rescue operations.
(with PTI inputs)