20 dead after truck ploughs into group of protesters in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh
Vijayawada, April 21, 2017
At least 20 people died and several others suffered injuries when the driver of a truck lost control over the wheel and it crashed into an electric pole and then ploughed into a group of protesters, cars and shops at Yerpedu in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh this afternoon.
The mishap occurred around 1.45 pm at Yerpedu, about 25 km from Tirupati, when a large number of people had gathered outside the local police station, located on the Putalapattu-Nayudupeta state highway, to demand action against illegal sand mining activities.
According to various accounts, the overladen truck appeared to be speeding when the driver lost control over the vehicle. Several people were run over by the truck while others were electrocuted when they came into high tension electric wires dangling from an electricity pole hit by the truck. Some others suffered burns that broke out in one of the shops hit by the vehicle.
The driver and the cleaner of the truck fled from the scene after the accident, sources said.
Traffic in the area was disrupted for some hours as a result of the accident, they said.
The victims were rushed immediately to nearby hospitals. The condition of some of the injured was stated to be serious.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said he was deeply saddened by the incident. The State Cabinet has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next-of-kin of those killed in the accident.