14 killed, 4 injured in van-truck collision at highway in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool
At least 14 people were killed and four others were critically injured, when a tempo traveller van which they were travelling in collided with a truck on the Hyderabad-Bengaluru national highway (NH-44) in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district in the early hours of Sunday, police said.
The accident took place near the Madhapuram village of the district’s Veldurthi block. The van, which was carrying 18 people, hit the road divider at a high speed, jumped over the divider and collided with a truck coming from the opposite direction on the other side of the road.
Following the collision, the van was crushed under the wheels of the truck and was dragged for a few metres before coming to a halt.
While 14 people died on the spot, four children sustained serious injuries. The panic-stricken truck driver shouted for help following which locals assisted in pulling the injured out of the van. “The bodies of the deceased were mutilated beyond recognition,” the Veldurthi police said.
The deceased include eight women, five men and a minor. According to the Aadhaar cards obtained from their belongings, it was found that the victims belonged to Madanapalle town of Chittoor district. The injured were identified as Yasmin, Asma, Kasim and Mustaq, all around 10 years of age.
“They were on a long-drive to Ajmeer Dargah in Rajasthan in their van. It is not exactly known whether the accident happened because the driver of the tempo traveller van was drowsy or its tyres had exploded,” the police said.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock over the incident. He called up district collector G Veerapandian and superintendent of police Fakeerappa to take up rescue operations immediately.
The top officials of the district rushed to the spot and supervised the relief works. The injured were shifted to Kurnool government general hospital for treatment and the bodies, too, were moved there for autopsy.