Twenty-eight passengers aboard an air-conditioned bus on its way to Hyderabad from Bangalore had a miraculous escape, when the bus jumped the road divider and ploughed through the ground, after its driver lost control, near Kanaganepalle, about 40 km from Anantapur in the early hours of Sunday.

The passengers of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), who suffered minor injuries, were given first aid by the crew of other buses bound for Hyderabad. They were accommodated in other APSRTC buses on their way to Hyderabad.

The driver of the ill-fated bus lost control of the vehicle at 1 am. The bus climbed over the one foot high and eight-feet wide road divider, shot through the road on the other side and stopped only after going off the road.

The dazed passengers, who were fast asleep, could not recall how the accident occurred. The driver, according to passengers, claimed that the steering of the vehicle got locked leading to his losing control. "I find his version incredible. Anyway, authorities must find out how this happened," maintained a passenger. This reporter was in another bus going in the same direction, which reached the spot within 15 minutes of the accident.

It was indeed a providential escape for the passengers, as there were no vehicles coming in the opposite direction when the multi-axle Benz vehicle jumped the road divider. "Had any other vehicle been coming in the opposite direction, it was rammed into our bus. That would have been end of all of us," another passenger said.