Odishatv Bureau

Vijayawada/Bhubaneswar: In a tragic incident, 11 passengers including 2 from Odisha were killed and more than 30 injured when Hyderabad bound private bus from Bhubaneswar, met with an accident at Mulapadu under Telugunchi panchayat near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh on National Highway-16 in the wee hours today.

While the bus driver and the helper among the eight passengers died on the spot, three succumbed to their injuries in a hospital at Nandigaon near Vijayawada. All the injured passengers were later shifted to a hospital in Vijayawada where the condition of 10 passengers was stated to be critical, reports said.

Till reports last came in, of the 11 deceased, one has been identified as N Bhaskar Reddy, a doctor of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) unit in Bhubaneswar while two persons from Odisha have been identified as Baldev and Bidyapati of Bhubaneswar.

Considering the magnitude of the mishap, the death toll is likely to go up, an official said.

Following the incident, a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel and the local police rushed to the spot and brought out the injured passengers and the deceased from the bus by cutting the chassis with the help of gas cutters.

The ill-fated bus AP-2-TC-7146, belonging to Diwakar Travels carrying 48 passengers, fell off the bridge after colliding with the culvert. The incident took place at about 5.30 AM.

The bus which was travelling a distance of about 1,000 km had made a stop in Vijayawada where a new driver took over.

Though the exact cause of the mishap was not yet known, sources, however, said drowsy driving by the bus driver led to the mishap.

Following the incident, Health Minister of Andhra Pradesh Kamineni Srinivas rushed to the spot to oversee rescue operations.

Besides, Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh as KE Krishnamurthy has expressed deep condolences to the bereaved families and asked the concerned authorities to hand over the bodies of the deceased to their families. He has also ordered free treatment of the injured passengers.