All five artistes had come to participate in the Nallakanakamma Jatara, a folk festival, at Pileru in Chittoor district.

Five Dappu artistes killed in AP after overspeeding lorry crashes into themScreengrab from NTV
news Accident Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 17:54

In a horrific road accident in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, five artistes from a Dappu troupe were mowed to death by a speeding lorry in the early hours of Thursday.

The accident took place on the main road in Tanavaddepalli locality of Pileru mandal village when the artistes were on their way back to their native place, Kondasanipalle in Nimmanipalle mandal.

All five had come to participate in the Nallakanakamma Jatara, a folk festival. After taking part in the festival, that had gone on till late in the night on Wednesday, the five were walking towards the bus stand when a speeding lorry mowed them down from behind.

Learning about the accident from passers-by, Pileru police rushed to the spot and took up rescue operations.

Speaking to TNM, Pileru Circle Inspector Venugopal said, “Our primary probe suggests that it happened due to brake failure and overspeeding on the part of the lorry driver.”

While two of the artistes died on the spot, two others died while being rushed to the hospital and one died while being treated at Ruia Hospital, Tirupati.

The Inspector added, “All the five deceased artistes were daily wage labourers.”

The Pileru police have identified the five deceased as Jayaram (44), Narayana (43), Beerappa (72), Venkat Rao (42) and Laxman (68), all hailing from the same village.

The police have arrested the lorry driver and filed a case under IPC sections 304(A) 337 and 279.

Emergency ambulance services hit by strike

Meanwhile, emergency 108 ambulance services were hit across the state as 2,000 employees running 449 ambulances went on strike. The workers are demanding a hike in salary, reduction in working hours, and other facilities to provide better services. Protesting across the state on Thursday, the ambulance workers demanded that the government release their delayed salaries and recognise them as Government Contract employees. The workers’ union is now scheduled to meet the state Health Department Principal Secretary, Poonam Malakondaiah, IAS.

The strike by the ambulance workers, however, comes as a curse for accident victims.

In the Pileru accident case, the police had to rely on a private ambulance to provide immediate medical aid for the victims.

The Pileru Inspector said, “We called the emergency ambulance following the accident, but they refused to come saying they are on strike, so we had to call a private ambulance service.”

However, when TNM approached the 108 emergency service, they said that services are being provided across the state.

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