Five people were killed in India in a bus accident between a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus and a private bus near Chadayamangalam on Monday July 15, 2013. Among the dead are four women. Fifty-five passengers were injured, twenty-five of them critically. More deaths are expected. The accident happened around 9:40 a.m. on Main Central Road.

India bus crash

 The victims of the crash include two from Thiruvananthapuram, Priya Augustine, 33, Thara Shashidharan, 53. Two other victims were Ambili, 45, and her daughter Jayashree, 19, of Anchal. Priya was killed instantly, and Thara and Jayashree died from their injuries hours later at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital. Priya was a teacher at a local secondary school. She was seated near the window on the fourth row from the driver. Priya and Thara were on board the KSRTC bus, while Ambili and Jayashree were passengers on the private bus.

Fourteen of the critically injured were taken to the Thiruvananthapuram MCH and eleven were transported to the Gokulam MCH at Venjaramoodu. Seventeen passengers suffered minor injuries and were transported to the Kadakkal hospital. Three injured were transported to the Chadayamangalam government hospital. The other passengers were treated and released.

The crash was so severe that the KSRTC bus had to be cut open with an electric cutter in order to get to trapped passengers. Traffic was halted in the area for more than two hours as victims were tended to and the accident site was cleaned up.

The Sreerangam stretch of road where the accident happened has a long history of serious crashes. Eight people were killed in the same sharp curve back in December of this year.

According to witnesses to the accident, the crash was caused when the driver of the private bus lost control while trying to take the curve because he entered it at too high a rate of speed. Witnesses say that the KSRTC bus attempted to swerve around the other bus to the left in an attempt to avoid the collision. The private bus then made impact with the right side of the bus.

Both buses were dragged approximately 20 meters before coming to a halt. At the time of the accident, there was a light rain. Eight rows of seats in the KSRTC bus were completely destroyed in the accident.

Emergency crews were on site within minutes of the crash. The rescue was led by Chadayamangalam Sub-Inspector Azad Abdul Kalam. Police, fire department and area locals all helped at the scene. An inquiry into the accident has been ordered by officials. A report needs to be submitted to authorities within two weeks.

A hospital spokesperson told media that the condition of seven of the critically injured was not hopeful, indicating that the death toll from this accident would most likely rise.

Ministers Adoor Prakash and K. C. Joseph, Mullakkara Ratnakaran MLA, KSRTC chairman and MD K. G. Mohanlal, Kollam Collector B. Mohanan and Kollam Rural SP S. Surendran all drove to the scene of the accident.

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