- Bus was carrying 75 people at the time of the accident
- Majority of the passengers were returning from a visit to a temple
- Telangana government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh
Over 50 people, including four children, have died in a bus accident in Telangana's Jagtiyal district on Tuesday. According to reports, the state-owned Road Transport Corporation bus carrying about 75 people skidded off the ghat road near Shanivarapet village and fell into the valley resulting in the accident, officials said.
Authorities said brake failure could be one of the reason for the accident. The overcrowded bus was carrying a large number of pilgrims who were returning from Anjaneya Swamy temple atop Kondagattu Hills, about 190 km from Hyderabad.
The accident left bus completely mangled with the steering wheel, engine box twisted out of shape.
"The incident happened between 11:45 am and noon," Jagtial District Collector A Sharat, who is supervising the relief and rescue work, was quoted by news agency PTI.
Telangana Caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the dead, a CMO release said.
The injured were shifted to a government-run hospital in Jagtial. A few critically injured were shifted to hospitals in Karimnagar and Hyderabad.
Road transport authorities said there were standing instructions on standard operating procedure and protocols to avoid accidents on the ghat road.
An expert said speed breakers on roads going downhill is unscientific. There were five speed breakers on the road which most probably made the vehicle jump. At the third speed breaker, the driver seemed to have lost control, possibly due to a brake failure, according to an eye witness.
Locals say the State Road Transport Corporation buses should not have been allowed to operate on the ghat road as it was declared unsafe six years ago. Another ghat road was safer but much longer so locals pressured to remove barricades and open the former. The road had no fencing or protective safety barricades. They point out that when accidents took place earlier, they had asked for the ghat road to be closed.
(with additional inputs from agencies)