Chittoor: Twelve people, including eight of a family, were crushed to death after a container truck hit the divider and toppled over an autorickshaw, a van and a two-wheeler at Mogilighat in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh on Friday night.

The accident on a stretch of the Bengaluru-Chittoor road under Bangarupalyam Mandal brought vehicular traffic on the busy carriageway to a standstill. The police had a tough time retrieving the bodies that had been mangled beyond recognition.

The police said the driver of the container truck loaded with water bottles lost control of the vehicle after its brakes failed. The truck rammed into the divider a high speed before hitting the three vehicles passing on the other lane of the road.

Reddy Sekhar and seven members of his family, including three women, were travelling in a Maruti Omni van when the container fell on them. The deceased were returning to their home town Marrimakulapalle of Gangavaram Mandal from Tettugundlapalle.

The truck also snuffed out the lives of two bike-borne residents of Balijapalle and another person in an autorickshaw. The driver of the container truck also died in the incident, while his assistant suffered severe injuries and is battling for life, said a senior police officer.

Chittoor Collector Bharat Gupta visited the spot and directed officials to intensity the relief and rescue operations. Later, the bodies were shifted to a government hospital for autopsy.

Meanwhile, a pall of gloom descended on Reddy Sekhar’s village following the death of eight of a family.

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