Mahabubnagar district police have opened a helpline to provide information. Following are the helpline numbers: 9494600100, 08542-245927, 245930, 245932.
A major accident took place at Palem, near Kothakota, Mahaboobnagar District at early hours on Dated: 30/10/2013 when a private owned bus (M/s. Jabbar Travels, Bangalore No. AP 02 TA 0963) travelling from Bangalore to Hyderabad and consequent on which about 44 passengers died and another 05 injured.
In the circumstances, the Government decide to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the above said road accident to know the cause of the accident, the responsible persons for the said accidents and other relevant issues in the public interest.
Government therefore hereby appoints Sri. S.A.V.Prasada Rao, Joint Transport Commissioner (IT, Enforcement & Road Safety), O/o. Transport Commissioner, A.P., Hyderabad to enquire into the matter and submit the preliminary enquiry report to Government within 3 days. G.O.Rt.No 1068 Dated: 30.10.2013
In a tragic incident, 40 passengers of a Volvo bus were feared dead after the bus caught fire in Mahabubnagar in Andhra Pradesh early on Wednesday.
The A/C bus owned by Jabbar travels, heading to Hyderabad from Bengaluru, went up in flames at around 5.10 am, when the driver tried to overtake another vehicle and hit the fuel tank to a culvert.
Suddenly the entire vehicle got engulfed in the blaze, police said.
The bus was reportedly carrying 49 passengers, most of whom were going home for Deepavali festival and started from Bengaluru 11 Tuesday night.
Reports said most of the passengers were asleep when the bus caught fire. Only few could escape as they were unable to break the glass open.
According to a senior district official, the bodies were charred beyond recognition and that they were trying to ascertain the number of those dead by obtaining the list of the passengers travelling in the ill-fated vehicle.
The driver along with cleaner and five other passengers managed to escape, police said quoting eyewitnesses.
The air-conditioned bus had automatic locking system which made it difficult for the passengers to escape to safety. Since the bodies were found at the rear end of the bus, it gave an impression that the passengers might have tried to come out of the vehicle from there, the official said.
“It seems the bus was travelling at a high speed when its fuel tank hit the roadside culvert and caught fire. There are some causalities feared as the entire bus has been gutted,” a senior police officer told PTI. They are ascertaining the exact number of casualties, he added.
The injured have been shifted to a nearby hospital, latest reports said.
Kothakota police were further investigating the case and senior police officers have rushed to the spot. State Transport Minister Botsa Satyanarayana told PTI that an inquiry would be conducted into the accident.
State information minister D.K. Aruna, who hails from Mehbubnagar district, visited the accident spot. PCC president Satyanarayana, YSRC president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao expressed shock over the mishap.
There was no clarity yet on the exact number of passengers onboard the ill-fated bus. The police said 40 people were killed and seven were injured, but according to driver, the Volvo air-conditioned bus, belonging to Jabbar Travels, was carrying 49 passengers.
Superintendent of Police Nagendra Kumar, who visited the spot, said a list of only 29 passengers was received from the private bus operator. Other passengers are believed have boarded the bus at Hindupur and Anantapur.
The passengers were asleep when the accident took place, leaving no time for them to escape. The victims were charred beyond recognition.
People from nearby village said the bus was reduced to ashes within few minutes.
Policemen with the help of forensic experts were seen retrieving charred remains of the passengers and keeping them under a tent erected near the scene on Bangalore-Hyderabad national highway. The experts will conduct DNA test to identity the bodies.
Mahabubnagar District Collector M.Girija Shankar said five passengers were shifted to DRDO Hospital in Hyderabad.
The bus left Bangalore at 10 p.m. Tuesday and was scheduled to reach Hyderabad at 6.30 a.m.
Anxious relatives of some of the passengers rushed to Jabbar Travels office here for information. However, the private operator did not have the list of passengers and other details.
Chamrajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed, who is related to Jabbar travels’ owner, also owns National Travels said, ” Last night, the bus left Bangalore. It was bound to Hyderabad. As it was nearing, the driver got down and called owner saying that the tyre burst. By then he realised that the bus was on fire. This shouldn’t have happened. All buses of private owners are insured. All documents are in place. Nobody does this on purpose. It’s an accident.”
“The transport minister Ramalinga Reddy said that he will speak to the CM and talk about compensation since it’s a private bus. I appeal to the government to consider compensation. Be it private or government, an accident is an accident. Nobody will do this on purpose. It was just an accident. It’s unfortunate. The owner of Jabbar Travels is heading there. He is also trying to make arrangements with respect to ambulance, etc, to help passengers.”