Andhra Pradesh: Auto plunges into canal, women killed, five injured

Rajahmundry: An elderly woman drowned and five persons, including the driver, sustained injuries when the auto rickshaw they were travelling in plunged into an irrigation canal at Bellampudi village of P. Gannavaram mandal in East Godavari in the early hours on Saturday. According to police, as many as 11 farm labourers hailing from Lankala Gannavaram village of P. Gannavaram mandal hired an auto rickshaw to teach Ganti village of Kothapeta mandal, about 11 km away, to attend farm work. As the auto rickshaw was approaching the Bellampudi village, two youngsters riding on a bike carrying a goat for slaughter were proceeding towards Razole from Tadepalligudem while a mother and her son on another bike were trailing it, as they visited lord Venkateswara at a temple at Vadapalli and returning home. 

The goat secured on the seat of the bike gave a sudden jerk and this resulted in the youngsters losing their balance. The rider of the bike behind them lost his balance and the mother-son duo fell on the road. At the same time, the auto rickshaw reached the spot. In a bid to avoid hitting the victims of the freak accident, the auto driver reached to the extreme of the road margin and failed to control it. This resulted in the vehicle plunging into the canal. 

Hearing the farm workers’ screams of help, commuters came to their rescue. Some of them jumped into the canal and pulled the workers out. However, Rapaka Adi Lakshmi, 61, drowned in the canal and died. Four worker suffered minor injuries while the auto rickshaw driver suffered a broken leg. Police booked a case and investigation is on.  

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