Visakhapatnam/Hyderabad: Four persons, including a months old baby, were killed and 19 others sustained injuries when a mini-bus in which they were travelling plunged into a 100-feet deep gorge in Anantagiri mandal in Visakhapatnam district on Friday evening.
All the victims and the injured belonged to the same extended family and were residents of Shaikpet in Hyderabad. They had hired the bus for a trip to Araku valley in Visakhapatnam district. They left in the bus hired from Dinesh Travels, also based in Shaikpet, on February 10 and were expected back on February 14.
According to officials involved in the relief and rescue operations at the accident site, among the dead were two men, a woman and a baby. Officials said that the family left Borra Caves around 5.30 pm on Friday and the driver, as he was not familiar with the road, or possibly because of brake failure, overshot a sharp bend and the bus went down the gorge. Among the injured, along with several adults, were children.
As per Swamy Goud, who responded to a phone call to Dinesh Travels, three persons had booked the vehicle for a family trip to Araku. There were 26 persons in all in the bus, he said.
Meanwhile, the Hyderabad district collector was instructed to visit Shaikpet and inquire and assist in relief operations.
According to the Anantagiri district police, the bus fell into the gorge while negotiating a hair pin bend on the hilly road between Dumuku and Tyda villages. The bus was on its way to Visakhapatnam from Araku valley and was about 100 km from its immediate destination.
Anantagiri sub-inspector K. Sudhakar said the bodies of the victims were being shifted to S. Kota community health centre, where the injured persons were taken for immediate care and treatment. Some of those who received serious injuries were to be taken to Visakhapatnam for better treatment.
As the police scrambled to mount relief efforts, officials reached out to any available vehicle and roped in taxi cabs to rush to the accident spot and to carry the injured to hospitals.
“The incident might have taken place around 7.30 pm and we got a call 10 minutes later. We mobilised all available vehicles including 108 ambulances and rushed to the accident spot 30 km away,” said taxi driver Ramesh, from Borra Caves.