Vijayawada: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 21 expressed grief over the death of at least 13 people in a truck accident in Andhra Pradesh. southern India.
“Pained by the loss of lives due to an accident in AP’s Chittoor district. Condolences to families of the deceased and prayers with the injured,” the prime minister tweeted.
Earlier in the day, the truck hit an electric pole and rammed into a general store at Yerpedu, 25 km from Tirupati on the Srikalahasti Highway. Some were electrocuted.
Additional Superintendent of Police confirmed that 24 people were also injured in the accident. More than 15 wounded were rushed to SVR Ruia Government General Hospital in Tirupati. The wounded include two policemen.
Most victims were farmers gathered to call for action against an alleged sand mafia operating in the region.
Unconfirmed reports said the driver was drunk.
The speeding truck hit an electric pole before ramming into the farmers and others, The Hindu reported.
The incident happened in front of Yerpedu police station. The truck that was coming from Srikalahasti toward Tirupati lost control and hit the electric pole first. As the pole capsized, the live wires snapped causing electrocution.
Six people died immediately when the lorry ploughed into the crowd. The death toll might go up.
The victims had come to the police station to complain against sand mining mafia. They hailed from Munagalapalem, 25 km from Srikalahasti.
The accident occurred close to the T-Junction at Yerpedu where the road forks into Tirupati, Srikalahasti and Venkatagiri towns.