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22 pilgrims killed as vehicle falls off bridge in Andhra Pradesh

PTI Rajahmundry (AP) | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 13, 2015

Public looking the dead bodies and a van which fell from 30-feet of Dowleswaram Barrage into dead river bed of Godavari on Friday night. Photo: S Rambabu   -  The Hindu

As many as 22 persons, including seven children, were killed today when their vehicle fell off a bridge over Godavari river at Dowleswaram here, police said.

The tragedy occurred as a group of pilgrims was returning in an SUV after a visit to the Tirupati temple, police said, adding that the ill-fated travellers hailed from Achyutapuram near Visakhapatnam.

A boy, who sustained injuries, is the lone survivor of the mishap. He is undergoing treatment at a hospital, police said. “The vehicle hit a railing, which broke under the impact of the collision, and fell off the bridge,” East Godavari Collector Arun Kumar told PTI.

Among the deceased are seven children, eight women and seven men, including the driver of the vehicle, who was also its owner, he added.

The incident is understood to have occurred in the early hours and police said they were alerted at around 5 am. “It’s purely (a case of) negligent and rash driving. It was not a vulnerable point of the road and neither was there any traffic,” the officer said.

Post-mortem procedures were on and the bodies were being handed over to relatives of the deceased, Kumar said, adding that inquiries are being made into the incident.

Meanwhile, AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu expressed grief over the incident and also posted a message on twitter that the lone survivor in the mishap is undergoing treatment. “Deeply saddened about tragic death of 21 people travelling in a van after it fell off Dowleswaram bridge. I’m monitoring the situation,” he tweeted.

“The kid, a lone survivor, is undergoing treatment. Spoke to our Home Minister who visited the spot. We’re providing all possible help,” added Naidu.

Deputy Chief Minister N China Rajappa, who belongs to East Godavari district, visited the spot and spoke to the officials.

PM condoles loss of lives

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today condoled the death of 22 pilgrims, including seven children, in a road mishap in Andhra Pradesh, terming the incident “saddening and unfortunate".

“Loss of lives due to a bus accident in East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh is saddening and unfortunate. My deepest condolences,” the Prime Minister said.

Published on June 13, 2015
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