At least nine agricultural labourers were killed and 15 injured when a tractor plunged into a canal in Telanganaâ€™s Nalgonda district on Friday morning.
The accident occurred near Vaddipatla, about 130 km from Hyderabad, when the workers were reportedly travelling from the tribal hamlet of Padamati Tanda to Pulicherla.
The tractor, which was carrying about 30 labourers, fell into the MR Canal after the driver lost control of the vehicle.
Rushing to the scene, locals launched rescue and relief operations. They also alerted the police, who pulled the bodies out of the water with the help of rescue workers.
Police suspect that negligence on part of the driver led to the tragedy. Some survivors claimed that the driver was drowsy. Other media reports suggested that the driver was speaking on the phone while manoeuvring a turn.
According to reports, all the nine deceased were tribal women and have been identified as Ramavath Sona (70), Ramavath Jeja (65), Jarukula Dwali (30), Ramavath Keli (50), Ramavath Kamsali (50), Banavath Beri (55), Ramavath Bharathi (35) and Ramavath Sunitha (30).
The workers were going from one village to the other to work in the fields. The police are continuing rescue operations and fear that the death toll may go up. Further details are awaited.
Visuals from the spot showed heart-breaking scenes as relatives of the deceased were seen weeping uncontrollably.
Heartbreaking scene at PA Pally, near Padamati Thanda in #Nalgonda district of #Telangana where tractor carrying some 30 labourers 'slipped' & fell into canal early today; 8 killed, more injured including children; they were being taken to another village to harvest onion @ndtv pic.twitter.com/yBlBGGM3vVâ€” Uma Sudhir (@umasudhir) April 6, 2018
This comes less than two weeks after an auto rickshaw fell into an open roadside well in Telanganaâ€™s Nizamabad district, killing 11 people, including 6 children. The incident took place between Mupkal and Mendora, and the auto rickshaw allegedly had 19 people on board, eight of whom survived.
The Nizamabad police, who were alerted by passers-by, had to use a crane to pull people out of the well. The police later said that it may have been rash and negligent driving that caused the horrific accident. The driver, who survived the accident, was taken into police custody.
With IANS inputs