Friday, 21 Apr, 7.32 am

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14 dead and 24 injured as truck runs amok in AP

At least 14 people were killed and 24 injured when a truck run amok hitting a group of protesters in front of a police station in Yerpedu of Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh 25 kilometers from temple town Tirupati on Friday afternoon. The heavily loaded truck registered in Nellore district first hit an electric pole, then ran into a group of protests who were agitating against illegal sand mining in their village Munagalapalem, before ploughing into parked vehicles, few road side shops on the busy Putalapattu-Naidupet road. The whole area resembled a battle field with blood and mangled body parts everywhere. The driver and cleaner of the truck have been arrested. According to Renigunta deputy superintendent of police K S Nanjndappa, 10 people died on the spot and the remaining died in hospitals undergoing treatment. The injured including two police men and a journalist of a vernacular paper were shifted to Ruia hospital in Tirupati where the condition of 10 is said to be critical. "We first went to Mandal revenue office to submit a memorandum against illegal sand mining. As the MRO was is not present we went to Urban SP office , while some of us are waiting at a tea stall the truck from nowhere came at a very high speed and mowed down the people," a villager from Munagalapalem said suspecting that it could be the handiwork of the sand mafia active in Swarnamukhi river bed. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu expressing shock over the accident has directed his cabinet ministers Narayana and Amaranth Reddy to rush to the spot and coordinate relief operations. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Executive Officer Sambasiva Rao has been coordinating with the medical team at Ruia and SVIMS hospitals in Tirupati. The AP government has declared Rs 5 lakh each, for the kin of the deceased as ex gratia.