Two persons were killed on the spot and three others sustained grievous injuries when the autorickshaw they were travelling in was run over by an overspeeding private bus on the Arabhavi-Challakere road on the outskirts of Jagalur in the district on Wednesday.
The deceased are Mahantesh, 22, a resident of Bharamasagar town and Khasimsab, 63, of Gollarahatti in the taluk. The injured are autorickshaw driver Thippeswamy, Kotresh and Pradeep and were rushed to the Chigateri district government general hospital in Davangere. The autorickshaw was crushed under the bus. Bus passengers pulled out the bodies of the victims. They also rescued those injured in the accident. A crane was used to pull out the auto from under the bus. The negligence and rash driving of the bus driver is said to have caused the accident, said eyewitnesses and police sources. The bus was on its way from Challakere to Jagalur, while the autorickshaw was coming from the opposite direction.
MLA H P Rajesh, Circle Police Inspector J S Thippeswamy and others visited the spot. The irate public who gathered at the accident site condemned the delay in undertaking repairs on the Arabhavi-Jagalur State highway. They attempted to throw stones on and set fire to the bus, but police prevented them from doing so. The village residents urged Rajesh and the police to put en end to the private bus operators’ lobby, by operating KSRTC vehicles.
A final BSc degree student drowned in the Tungabhadra river and two of his friends were rescued by pilgrims when they went to take a holy dip on account of Makara Sankranti, near the Gedderameshwara temple at Kuruva village in Honnali taluk of the district on Wednesday.
The deceased is Pavan, 20, of Rashtriya College in Shimoga. He was the son of Malleshappa, a first division assistant in the Honnali taluk panchayat. The youths did not know swimming, yet they ventured into the river, said eye-witnesses. Expert swimmers managed to rescue Pavan’s friends.