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Seven killed in Andhra Pradesh as bus falls into canal

Seven killed in Andhra Pradesh as bus falls into canal

Seven people died and several others were injured when a bus carrying a marriage party fell into a canal in the early hours of Tuesday in Prakasam district, police said.

The accident occurred near Darsi when the APSRTC bus in which nearly 45 persons were travelling fell into the NSP canal, resulting in the death of five women, a six-year old girl and a man, police said.

The mishap took place on the outskirts of Darsi when the driver of the RTC bus carrying the marriage party plunged into the canal while trying to avoid a private bus coming in the opposite direction, Prakasam district superintendent of police Mallika Garg said.

The bus also hit a pole before falling into the canal, Garg said. The driver, who survived in the accident, said the steering stopped working and the brakes had also failed, the police official added.

Police said the driver of the RTC bus lost control of the vehicle after crossing the first of the two bridges when the private bus veered into its lane.

She said as per initial reports, the reason for the deaths was suffocation as people who were seated in the front portion got crushed due to the weight of others from the rear portion falling on them.

However, the driver and his assistant managed to survive.

The survivors broke windows to free themselves.

As many as 18 persons suffered injuries, police said, adding five of them have been referred to a hospital in Ongole and were said to be stable.

A crane was deployed at the accident site to rescue the injured persons.

Incidentally, a family from Podili had hired the APSRTC bus to go to Kakinada to attend a reception. They boarded the bus at 12:35 AM and some 15 minutes later when they had reached the outskirts of Darsi the accident occurred.

Following an initial probe, police ruled out drunk driving as a cause of the mishap.

Police have booked a case under IPC Section 304 and are investigating.

Meanwhile, an official release from Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy's office said the CM has expressed grief over the incident.

The CM ordered officials to ensure better medical care for the injured.

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