20 killed as truck ploughs into villagers in Andhra
Vijayawada: At least 20 persons were killed and 24 injured when a truck rammed into a group of villagers standing outside some shops in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor district on Friday, police said.
The speeding truck hit an electric pole, before ramming into roadside shops on the Puthalapattu-Naidupeta Road in Yerpadu, about 30 km from the temple town of Tirupati.
Police said the accident occurred near Yerpadu police station. A group of villagers, including farmers, who had come to the police station were standing near the shops at the time of accident.
People from some villages had come to the police station to complain about illegal sand mining from Swarnamukhi river.
Tirupati Urban Superintendent of Police R. Jayalakshmi, who was present in the police station at the time of accident, said most of the casualties were due to electrocution. The injured were shifted to Ruia Hospital and Sri Venkateshwara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) in Tirupati and CHC Hospital in Srikalahasti.
The condition of six of the injured is critical and they were being shifted to CMC Vellore and Chennai.
Jayalakshmi said a circle inspector, a sub-inspector of police and constable were among those injured. She said the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle. The exact cause of the accident was under investigation.
The truck crushed 10 two-wheelers, two auto rickshaws and a police vehicle before hitting an electric pole and shops. Both the driver and cleaner escaped after the crash.
The Andhra Pradesh government announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia each for the families of those killed. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu directed officials to ensure best possible treatment to the injured.