Vijayawada: At least eleven people were killed — four of which were medical students — and 31 injured when a bus carrying them overturned after hitting a roadside tree at Gollapudi near Vijayawada on late Monday night, police said.
The driver of the private bus was also killed in the accident which occurred on Vijayawada-Hyderabad highway.
The students of government-run Osmania Medical College were returning to Hyderabad after participating in a sports tournament in Andhra Pradesh when the accident occurred around midnight. In all, there were 48 medical students in the bus, who were returning after taking part in a sports meet in Amalapuram.
Police said the driver was drunk and driving the bus at a high speed, which led to the disaster. The survivors said the driver picked up an argument with them when they raised an objection to driving in an inebriated condition.
MBBS fourth year student P. Rajaram, House Surgeons Giri Lakshman and M. Vijay Teja and driver died on the spot. Another student succumbed at a hospital at Gollapudi.
The injured were admitted to the hospital, where some of them are in critical condition.
Telangana Health Minister Lakshma Reddy rushed to Vijayawada from Hyderabad. He called on the injured at Andhra Hospital in Gollapudi. The minister said Telangana government will bear all expenses for the treatment of the injured.
The minister said action would be taken against those whose negligence led to the accident.
Chief Ministers of AP and Telangana, N Chandrababu Naidu and K Chandrasekhar Rao, expressed grief over the accident. Naidu directed the officials to immediately submit a report on the causes for the accident. He also directed state Transport Minister Sidda Raghava Rao to study the reasons for the series of road accidents and take urgent steps for their prevention.
With input from agencies