Eight persons, including five members of a family, travelling in an autorickshaw, popularly called “Tom Tom”, were crushed to death on Friday after their vehicle came under a North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation bus coming from Bijapur to Gulbarga near Mandewal village in Jewargi taluk.
The police gave the names of the victims as Venkatesh Bhimaraya (41), autorickshaw driver, his wife, Shantamma Venkatesh (34), sons, Rupesh (18) and Reddy, and daughter Roopa, Mallappa M. (35) and his wife, Nagalingamma (30), and Mallikarjun Lingappa (15).
All the victims were from Ambedkar Nagar in Yadgir town. They were on their way to visit the famous Bhagamma Temple at Ghattarga village in Afzalpur taluk in Gulbarga district.
According to reports reaching here in the evening, the accident occurred when the autorickshaw came out of a petrol bunk to join the main road. The autorickshaw driver appeared to have lost control over the vehicle, after which it collided with the bus.
The autorickshaw came under the bus and all the passengers were crushed to death instantly. Most of the bodies were unrecognisable and the autorickshaw was a mangled remains of steel, with shreds of plastics strewn around.
The reports said that the couple, Mallappa and Nagalingamma, were residents of Mumbai and had come to Yadgir a couple of days ago. They were supposed to return to Mumbai on Friday, but they cancelled their trip and decided to visit the temple and pay their obeisance to Goddess Bhagamma before leaving for Mumbai a couple of days later.
Local people rushed to the spot and helped retrieve the bodies and send them to the Government Hospital in Jewargi town.