7 killed in mishap on ghat road

Rajahmundry: Seven people including five women were killed in a road accident on Maredumilli-Chinturu Ghat Road in East Godavari on Tuesday after the tempo they were travelling plunged into a valley 25 feet below. There were 13 people in the vehicle, when the mishap occurred on the ghat road, infamous for its steep hairpin and blind curves. The victims were proceeding to Annavaram from Bhadrachalam on pilgrimage. Some of them hail from Anantapur district while others are from Chalikeru village in Chitradurg district of Karnataka.
Five persons were injured in the mishap and one of them is in a critical condition. According to the police, 24 persons, all relatives, boarded two tempos at Madakasira of Ananthapur district. Some of them are from Karnataka and they joined their relatives in Anantapur. They started on pilgrimage to Bhadrachalam and Annavaram last Saturday.
On the way they had visited other pilgrim centres like Mahanandi and Srisailam. They offered prayers in Bhadrachalam and left for Annavaram on Tuesday morning. When the vehicle reached Vali-Sugreeva statue on the ghat road, one of the tempos plunged into the valley as the driver lost control.
The injured were shifted to Rampachodavaram Area Hospital and later to Kakinada General Hospital. The driver is absconding. The bodies were shifted to Rajahmundry Government Hospital for post mortem.
The victims have been identified as Kundam Ramesh (56), Kundam Amruthavani (48), Meda Gayathramma(54), Meda Swaeth (25), Meda Srinivasulu (62), Meda Madhuraksdhamma (56) and Meda Ramalakshmi (50).
Rampachodavaram Assistant Superintendent of Police Vakul Jindal told TOI that the accident took place 10 kilometres from Maredumilli. He said the police had acted swiftly on hearing the news and sent ambulances to the spot. He said a danger sign board is located at the accident spot. “The driver could not turn the steering at the sharp curve and the vehicle rolled down,” he said.
Those who escaped with injuries could not believe that they near and dear ones had died in the mishap. All of them were enjoying the nature’s beauty in the dense forest of Maredumilli area when their vehicle met with the mishap. Six of them died on the spot whereas another woman died in hospital.
Govinda Raju of Chalikeru village, who was travelling in another vehicle which was following the ill-fated tempo, could not believe his eyes when he saw his sister and brother-in-law lying lifeless.

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