Nine killed, 26 missing as Andhra floods wash away truck (Lead)

August 10th, 2008 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 10 (IANS) Rescue workers recovered nine bodies while 26 people were still untraced after a truck carrying them was washed away in flood waters in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district Sunday. The mishap took place in Madduru Vagu near Narkulapadu in Amravati mandal of Guntur district, about 20 km from Guntur town and 300 km from here.

Authorities called off rescue operations in the evening after the darkness set in. Officials said rescue work would resume Monday morning.

The truck was yet to be retrieved. The police said they recovered nine bodies and eight people were rescued by villagers.

Over 40 people were travelling in the truck, which was caught in swirling waters of a stream while trying to cross it.

The missing people, including 10 women and five children, were feared washed away in the flood waters. The survivors told the police that the driver tried to cross the stream despite their warning. The driver, who swam to safety, fled the scene.

The police said some trucks were carrying people to villages on the other side of the stream as the state-owned Road Transport Corporation had stopped bus services as a precautionary measure in view of floods.

The district collector announced Rs.100,000 compensation to the kin of each of the deceased.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy will visit the mishap site Monday and will call on the families of the victims.

Many rivulets, streams and tanks in Guntur and nine other districts of the state were either overflowing or breached their banks due to heavy rains and flash floods, which have so far claimed over 50 lives since Tuesday.

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