Most passengers were young professionals working in the lucrative IT field in Bangalore

They left Bangalore to celebrate the festival of lights, not knowing what fate had in store for them. Wednesday’s ghastly accident cast a pall of gloom over their loved ones.

As details started pouring in, the terrible incident left friends and family members shell-shocked.

Majority of the passengers were young professionals working in the lucrative IT field in Bangalore.

“Not just the family members, but the whole town is mourning the gruesome demise of my friend Vedhapathi,” Suresh, who hails from Kamareddy in Nizamabad district, said.

Vedhapathi was a hard-working and humane person, and his untimely demise has left his native village near Kamareddy shocked, he added.

“His mother was suffering from high blood pressure, and she just broke down when the news was conveyed. We had to rush her to hospital,” Suresh said, adding that his friend’s death was a severe blow to the family both financially and personally.

Vedhapathi, who was working in Bangalore for the last two years, got married six months ago and was contemplating taking his wife along to the city after Deepavali.

Similar was the condition of the friends and family members of Priyanka Palle who was coming to Hyderabad for the celebrations.

An alumna of Vignan Jyothi Institute of Management (VJIM), Priyanka took up a job at TESCO PLC in Bangalore after she got married to a Bangalore-based techie last year and was visiting Hyderabad for Deepavali. “Priyanka was a vibrant person who brought life to whatever she did. “It is unfortunate that such a thing happened to her,” Jaya Shree, a professor at VJIM, recounted.

Tense moments

Meanwhile, many in the city had to go through tense moments as the news of the accident started trickling in the early hours of Wednesday. Many got glued to the TV screens as several young IT professionals commute between the two cities on a regular basis.

Relatives and friends made frantic calls to their loved ones who were scheduled to come to the city by private buses from Bangalore on Wednesday.

“The first thing I did was to call up my daughter who was coming from Bangalore today (Wednesday). I could breathe easy only after confirming that she was not on the ill-fated bus,” a visibly-relieved octogenarian, M. Shashikanth Rao, said.

It was frustrating to notice that no one was around to attend to the relatives’ queries at Jabbar Travels offices at Afzalgunj and Lakidikapul. “We had to run from pillar to post in the morning to confirm the identities of our relatives,” a kin of a victim said.

It was only after a few anxious hours that information about the deceased was furnished, much to the consternation of many.

Those who knew that their family members or friends were travelling in the bus rushed to the accident spot in their own vehicles. Jabbar Travels later arranged a vehicle for the relatives to visit the accident site.

Chaos and confusion continued till late in the night as the severely-charred bodies were brought to the city.

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