Returning to Bellary following job interviews at a firm in Bengaluru, eight women died, along with the driver of their vehicle, in an accident on National Highway 150A near Challakere in Chitradurga district in the early hours of Saturday.
While the driver and five students died on the spot, three other women succumbed to injuries at hospitals later, Superintendent of Police, Chitradurga, M N Anucheth, said. He said the accident occurred around 3.30 am, when the vehicle they were travelling in (a Tax Cruiser from Force Motors) was caught — and crushed — between two buses.
The vehicle, it appears, was trying to overtake another when it went to the other lane and crashed into an incoming Karnataka state roadways bus, the police said. It was thrown to the left of the road in the impact, at which point a rushing bus coming from behind rammed into it.
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There were 13 women and two men in the vehicle, the police said. “The bodies got stuck in the vehicle…they could be cleared only by 6 am,” SP Anucheth said. “Six people, including the driver, Chandregowda, were killed at the spot. Three others succumbed in hospital.” Challakere police are investigating the case.
According to Anucheth, all eight students who died were BCom students in a Bellary college. Having finished the interviews on Friday, they left Bengaluru in the night to reach Bellary, which lies around 300 km to the north of the state capital.
Besides the driver — Chandregowda R (25) of Bellary — the students who died on the spot are T Shanti (20) of Bagevadi, D Sudha (20) of Bagevadi, P Saritha (22) of Siraguppa, K Jayasree (22) of Siraguppa, and T Bharathi (20) of Siraguppa.
Another student, D Harshita (20), succumbed to injuries at Challakere Government Hospital. The eight people injured in the accident were taken to Chitradurga District Hospital, where two other students succumbed: M Shruthi (20) and Kavya (19), both residents of Bellary.
“Seven more injured people, including the driver of the KSRTC bus, Mohammed Hussain, are still admitted. Some of them are critical,” a police officer said.