23 die, 37 injured in Rayagada road mishap

Rayagada: In a tragic road accident, at least 23 persons were killed and 37 others injured when a tractor in which they were travelling fell into a gorge at Upara Anchalbadi ghat in Rayagada district’s Kalyansighpur area on Friday evening.
Residents of Hiranpadu village were returning from a wedding reception in Seriguma when the tragic accident occurred killing 20 villagers on the spot.

The district administration has shifted 14 critically injured to Care hospital in Vizag while others were rushed to Rayagada district headquarters hospital. Three succumbed to injuries during treatment.

According to first-hand reports, the speeding tractor skidded off the road and its engine got separated from the rear carrier after one of its tyres deflated. Overloading is being seen as the cause of the accident as more than 60 people were travelling in the vehicle.

Though the district administration has confirmed the death of 18 persons, police are yet to identify the bodies to ascertain the number of children and women killed in the mishap.

Rayagada district collector Sashibhusan Padhi said, “We have referred five critically injured to Care hospital in Vishakhapatnam. Looking at the gravity of the incident, we have mobilized ambulances to meet emergency”.

Meanwhile Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressing deep grief over the loss of precious human lives said all the treatment expenses will be borne by the CM's Relief Fund and Odisha State Treatment Fund (OSTF).

Rayagada Superintendent of Police (SP) Rajesh Pandit and SC/ST Development Minister Lal Bihari Himirika enquired health condition of the injured at the hospital.