Twenty students and driver of a school bus were killed and 19 children injured when a passenger train rammed it into it at unmanned level crossing near Masaipet village in Medak district, about 40 kms from Hyderabad on Thursday morning.
Thirteen students of Kakatiya Techno School in Toopran, about five kms from the school were killed on the spot while the others succumbed to bleeding injuries at two private hospitals in Kompalli on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The driver Bhikshpati too died in the accident.
The injured students were first rushed to Balaji and RR hospitals in Kompally and later shifted to Yashoda hospital in Secunderabad for better medicare. The Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao rushed to the hospital to personally monitor the situation.
According to eye witness accounts and police sources, Nanded-Secunderabad passenger train was approaching Masaipet when the school driver tried to speed past the unmanned level crossing resulting in the ghastly accident. The accident occurred at 9.10 am as the train was running four hours behind schedule. On version said there was a building which could have obstructed the view of the driver.
It is said students screamed at the driver not to rush through the level crossing but the latter ignored their pleas. The badly mangled bus was dragged for a distance of one km before the train came to a halt.
The scene of the accident presented a gory picture with blood splattered railway track and the bodies of the children aged five to 12 years mutilated beyond recognition. Bhikshpati is said to be temporary driver as the regular one failed to turn up. As he got delayed, the driver is said to have driven the vehicle in rash manner all through while picking up students from Gundredpalli, Islampur and Kistapur before it met with the accident.
Police and rescue teams had a torrid time in removing the debris and the mutilated bodies from the accident spot. Family members of the victims rushed to the spot and were seen wailing over the bodies of the children. A pall of gloom descended on the villages from where the students hailed.
Villagers hamper relief work
Thousands of villagers rushed to the spot hampering relief work. Police had a tough time controlling the crowd as they got restive and started blaming the railway officials of negligence. A group of ABVP workers staged a demonstration were cane charged leading to stone pelting. Traffic on NH -44 abutting the accident came to a grinding halt as residents of nearby villages made a beeline to the spot.
Ministers – T. Harish Rao and Jagadishwar Reddy were directed by the Chief Minister to rush to the accident spot and supervise the relief works. Mr. Rao himself is expected to visit Masaipet in the afternoon to call on the family members of the deceased children.
In a condolence message, the Chief Minister expressed deep sorrow at the unfortunate accident. He ordered an inquiry into the incident.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.Chandrababu Naidu, YSR Congress president Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy, BJP Telangana President G.Kishan Reddy, Telangana Legislative Council chairman K.Swamy Goud, condoled the deaths. Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy and Mr.Kishan Reddy rushed to the spot.
(With additional reporting by Ravi Reddy)
List of victims
The following are the students, who were killed.
The victims are: Bhikshapati Goud, (45), driver, Chintala Suman, Golla Mahesh, Vidya, Chintala Charan, Chintala Divya, Neerudi Vamshi, Razia, Waheed, Sarath and Sruthi, Tumma Vishnu and Srividya.
The identity of remaining students, who died at private hospitals in Hyderabad, is yet to be known.
JUST IN: Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao rushes to Yashoda Hospital to call on injured and their relatives. >#trainmishap— Hyderabad Connect (@HydConnect) >July 24, 2014
JUST IN: Injured students rushed to hospital in Toopran town. Ambulances and medical teams rushing from Hyderabad. >#trainmishap— Hyderabad Connect (@HydConnect) >July 24, 2014
Heart rending scenes at Yashoda Hospital as parents of injured school kids await health updates >@tlalithsingh— Hyderabad Connect (@HydConnect) >July 24, 2014