The critically injured will be rushed to the King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The driver of the vehicle, Srisailam, was also among the injured.
As per the information available, 26 tourists, all of them said to be from Telangana, were returning to Visakhapatnam after a visit to Araku valley when the mini-bus they were traveling in plunged at least 100 ft into the valley at a bend on the ghat road around 8 pm.
The vehicle, belonging to Dinesh Travels, a private operator from Hyderabad, was mangled due to the impact of the fall.
The accident occurred between Dumuku and Tyda in Ananthagiri Mandal about 30 km from S Kota. Police and locals rushed to the spot and ferried the injured to the nearest hospital at S Kota. Speaking to The New Indian Express, Visakhapatnam Superintendent of Police B Krishna Rao confirmed that four passengers had died on the spot.
The 10 critically injured were rushed to the King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The deceased were identified as K Saritha (30), K Satyanarayana (50), Nitya (8 months), and N Latha (30). The driver of the vehicle, Srisailam, was also among the injured.
It appears there were at least six children on the bus.
Among the critically injured were eight women and a seven-year-old boy. Most of them sustained head and chest injuries.
The tourists embarked on their journey to Araku from Hyderabad on February 10 and were to return home on Feb 14. “There were 26 people in the bus, including the driver. Four died on the spot and 10 others are in critical condition. The critically injured were referred to the KGH in Vizag. Police and locals pulled out the injured passengers and rushed them in 108 ambulances and private vehicles operated by drivers at Borra caves. The tourists arrived in Araku on Thursday,” Araku Circle Inspector P Pydaiah told The New Indian Express, adding that all of them were from Telangana.
An Anganwadi teacher Lakshmi from Dumuku told the media they had rushed to the spot after receiving a call about the accident. “It was very dark and difficult to see. We saw children crying. We brought them out safely. They are from Hyderabad. We admitted some of them to the hospital. There are two-three serious cases. It was sad to see children crying for their parents,” she said.
Soon after the news broke, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock and grief over the incident and directed officials to ensure the better medical treatment to the injured.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also conveyed his condolences. “Distressed to hear about the accident in Visakhapatnam, AP. Condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Prayers with the injured. May they recover soon,” the PMO tweeted.
Tourism Minister M Srinivasa Rao spoke to the district collector and the SP and enquired about the incident. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan also expressed shock over the mishap and conveyed their condolences to the bereaved families.