Update at 6: 49 PM: Death toll has risen to 52
In a tragic turn of events, a Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) bus fell into a gorge in Kondagattu Ghat of Jagtial district on Tuesday, killing 45 people and grievously injuring 18. Officials expect the toll to rise given the ghastly nature of the mishap. 62 people were traveling on the bus and over 20 people died on the spot while others succumbed in various hospitals in Jagtial and Karimnagar districts.
The accident took place around noon. Huge crowds throng to the Kondagattu Hanuman Temple every Tuesday and Saturday, a famous pilgrimage center in Jagtial district. On September 11, 2018, the bus was making its way to the top of the ghat, when the bus slipped and turned turtle twice. The driver has been identified as Viswanath who was new to the area and couldn't maneuver the extreme terrain.
As soon as news of the accident spread, district superintendent of police, Sindhu Sarma, rushed to the spot and started supervising the rescue and relief operations. State transport minister Mahender Reddy also immediately left from Hyderabad to monitor the relief operations along with senior RTC officials.
Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao expressed shock over the accident. He announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased and directed officials concerned to provide immediate medical assistance to the injured.
President Ram Nath Kovind took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the accident.
PM Modi also tweeted:
There are unconfirmed reports of the bus not having a safety certificate and if the driver was inebriated while taking to the wheels. A detailed investigation is being taken up on one of the worst bus accidents in Telangana.