14 killed as mini-bus collides with lorry near Kurnool

The deceased, including eight women and an infant, were on their way to the Sharif Dargah at Ajmer in Rajasthan

Fourteen passengers, including eight women and an infant, were killed and five were injured when a mini-bus collided with a lorry on NH-44 at Veldurthi mandal, 35 km from Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh, in the early hours of Sunday. Two of the injured are said to be critical.

According to the Veldhuthi police, the mini-bus coming from Madanapalle in Chittoor district was on its way to the Sharif Dargah at Ajmer in Rajasthan.

The mini-bus reportedly hit the divider and collided with a lorry on the opposite side at Madhapuram village. The impact was such that 14 passengers were killed on the spot. However, four children below five years had a miraculous escape with minor injuries and were rushed to a local hospital.

Collector G. Veerapandiyan, Superintendent of Police P.K. Fakeerappa and senior officials from Kurnool rushed to the spot. Speaking to the media, the officials said Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had been informed about the accident. Though driver’s negligence is said to be the cause of the tragedy, another version is that the bus jumped the divider and collided with the lorry after its tyre burst. The police said identification of the deceased was difficult as many injured were not able to speak to the police.

Telugu Desam Party national president N. Chandrababu Naidu and TDP general secretary N. Lokesh expressed shock at the tragedy and urged the State government to extend quality medicare to the injured and assistance to the kin of the deceased.

Meanwhile, a large number of relatives of the deceased from Madanapalle have left for Kurnool on receiving information about the accident.

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