Nine people, including the driver of an Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation bus, were killed as it fell into a rivulet near Jangareddygudem in West Godavari district on Wednesday.
At least 12 other passengers, who suffered injuries in the accident, were admitted to the area hospital in Jangareddygudem while another seriously injured was shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital in Eluru.
Conductor of the bus and several other passengers escaped with minor injuries, RTC and Revenue officials said.
In all, there were 45 passengers and two crew in the ill-fated bus.
Some of the passengers and the conductor crawled out of the bus windows even as the local people who rushed to the scene pulled them out to safety.
Some of the passengers sustained minor wounds as the window glass splinters struck them when the bus plunged into the rivulet.
West Godavari district Superintendent of Police Rahul Dev Sharma told PTI over phone from Eluru that the bus was on its way to Jangareddygudem from Aswaraopet in neighbouring Telangana when the mishap occurred.
The APSRTC bus driver tried to manoeuvre his way to avoid a lorry coming in the opposite direction on a bridge across the Jalleru rivulet.
“The bus hit the bridge railing and fell into the rivulet. We have so far recovered nine bodies, including five female passengers and the driver Appa Rao,” Rahul Dev said.
Meanwhile, the state government announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.
Transport Minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) said the government would take care of the medical expenses of the injured persons.
The Governor extended his condolences to the bereaved families.
The Chief Minister, too, offered his condolences to the bereaved families and directed West Godavari district Collector Kartikeya Misra to ensure better medicare to the injured passengers.
Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, state Congress president Sake Sailajanath and BJP state general secretary S Vishnuvardhan Reddy too expressed grief over the accident. PTI