Four school students and an auto driver were killed and three other students were injured when a state-run bus collided with the autorickshaw they were traveling in at Repadu village in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh this morning, police said on Thursday.
Poor visibility due to fog apparently caused the mishap in which the State Road Transport Corporation (RTC) bus, on its way to Srisailam, collided head-on with the auto that was carrying the students to school, a police official said over the phone.
The seven Class X students started off as usual in the auto to go to school at Perecherla, when tragedy struck at Repadu village, said to be an accident-prone zone. The students belonged to Vemavaram village.
“The deceased students have been identified as Gayatri, Renuka, Sailaja and Karthik Reddy and the auto driver Dhanraj,” the police official said.
The three injured students were shifted to a private hospital in Guntur for treatment, a communique from the Health Minister’s office said.
Social Welfare Minister Nakka Anand Babu visited the Government Hospital in Narsaraopet, where bodies of the victims were shifted for post-mortem.
Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas expressed grief over the students’ death.
Kamineni asked the health department authorities to ensure better Medicare for the injured students. Police launched a hunt for the RTC bus driver, who gave a slip after the mishap.
RTC Guntur Regional Manager Sri Hari visited the accident spot to take stock of the situation.