Crime
The lorry driver has escaped and police are looking for him. Meanwhile, 21 injured persons are undergoing treatment in Bellary.
PTI

At around 11.00 am on Saturday, a speeding lorry crashed into two autos and a tempo traveller, in Rampura village located in Chitradurga’s Molakalmooru taluk, resulting in the death of 13 people including three minors.

The lorry, which was on its way back from Bellary, was carrying a load of husk.

“Based on the skid marks on the road, we suspect that the speeding lorry tried to slow down suddenly but ended up ramming into  three vehicles. The driver has escaped unhurt and a police team has been formed to look for him,” said Chitradurga SP, Arun Rangarajan.

There were two people travelling in one of the autos which was plying from Nagasandra to Rampura. The second auto had nine people and was plying from Machcheri to Rampura. The tempo traveller had 23 people who were going to Bellary from Bengaluru.

“The eleven people in both the autos died on the spot. Initially, all the people in the tempo travelller were critically injured. They were admitted to VMS Hospital in Bellary, after which two more men died,” SP Rangarajan said.

The deceased victims include seven men, three women and three children, while 21 of them are currently undergoing treatment. The police have been able to identify only seven victims till now.

The deceased include Basavaraja, one of the auto drivers, Vaishali, an eight-year-old-girl from Nagasandra, Honnurappa, Durgamma and Chintamani, all residents of Appenahalli in Bellary.

“We have sent one constable from Chitradurga Police Station to help with the situation in the Bellary hospital. We are still trying to contact the family members of the identified victims. There are also several unidentified victims. Once their identities are ascertained, we will inform their families as well,” SP Rangarajan added.

A case of accidental death has been registered.

The senior police officer said that the road on which the accident occurred is very curvy and has no medians.

“There are smaller roads which cut across the highway leading to different villages. There are no barriers and people rarely follow traffic rules. We have conducted numerous road safety programmes and yet it is impossible to get the residents to comply. The access to public transport is next to nil and people generally travel in overloaded autos and tempos, which makes this stretch accident prone,” SP Rangarajan added.