As many as 16 labourers were killed and 17 injured, when a construction material- laden truck they had boarded overturned and fell into a ditch in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, on 14 September.
District Collector H Arun Kumar said the victims died due to suffocation after they were buried in the clinker material as the 12-tyre truck, loaded with fly ash, in which 35 farm workers were travelling, fell on the roadside at Gandepalli village. The labourers, who worked in a palm plantation, boarded the truck near Eluru. The driver and the cleaner are absconding from the scene, he added.
Those who were injured in the accident are being treated at various hospitals in Rajahmundry. Thirty-two of those travelling (35) in the truck have been accounted for, added the collector.
Finance minister Yenamala Ramakrishnudu, arrived at the spot and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the families of deceased.
Those killed belong to Kattipudi, Prattipadu and Tondangi regions of East Godavari, and had gone to Chintalapudi in West Godavari, few days ago, to work in farms.
Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock over the incident and ordered that the injured be provided better treatment after reviewing the situation, with officials.