Four persons — an eight-month-old baby, two women and a man — were killed on Friday when a tourist bus fell into a gorge near Damuku in Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam district. The condition of one person is said to be critical. The victims were tourists from Hyderabad.
The bus was travelling from Araku to Visakhapatnam city, police said. The vehicle fell into the valley while negotiating a hairpin bend.
The deceased were identified as K Saritha (30), K Satyanarayana (50), Nitya (8 months) and N Latha (30).
The bus had a total of 26 persons including the driver, and included a total of six children. Initially, the injured persons were shifted to the Community Health Centre in S. Kota in the neighbouring Vizianagaram district, approximately 30 km from the accident spot. But, all injured were later shifted to King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam for better treatment.
“The condition of one person who suffered a head injury is critical, the rest are stable. They are availing treatment in KGH. We had shifted them all last night itself,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (District Special Branch), S Appala Naidu told TNM.
The tourist bus belonging to Dinesh Travels had left Hyderabad on February 10. According to news agency IANS, the passengers were from Shaikpet area in Hyderabad.
According to police, the bus fell nearly 200 feet. The rescue operation became difficult as the incident took place at night.
Lakshmi, an Anganwadi teacher from Damuku who was part of the rescue work told The Hindu, “It was completely dark and very tough to identify whether any passengers were missing in the surroundings. A number of children were injured. Many were seen crying for their parents and the scene was heart-rending. We had shifted the victims in 108 ambulances and in private vehicles to S. Kota hospital.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing his condolences, said, “Distressed to hear about the accident in Visakhapatnam, AP. Condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Prayers with the injured. May they recover soon.”
Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhushan Harichandan, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan also expressed their condolences.
Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar spoke to Andhra Pradesh's Director General of Police Gautam Sawang, DIG Kalidas and SP Krishna to request them to ensure the best medical treatment to the injured.