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19 killed in KSRTC bus-container lorry collision in Tamil Nadu

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on February 20, 2020 Published on February 20, 2020

As many as 20 were killed as a bus on the way to Kerala collides with truck near Tiruppur.   -  THE HINDU

Atleast 19 passengers, including two driver-cum-conductors of a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) Garuda Volvo bus are feared dead in a head-on collision with a container truck in the early hours of Thursday at Avinashi in Coimbatore.

According to Tamil Nadu police, the accident occurred at around 3.15 am when the container truck lost control, jumped the divider separating the carriageways and rammed into the passenger bus coming from the opposite side. Those on the right side of the bus bore the brunt of the collision.

There were 48 passengers on board when the mishap occurred. The bus crew, including the driver, were killed on the spot. The police said the container lorry was ferrying floor tiles from Kochi port to Bengaluru. The KSRTC bus was on a scheduled trip from Bengaluru to Thiruvananthapuram.

The casualties included three women. Bodies of the deceased are in the morgues in Tirupur and Avinashi Government hospitals. Efforts were on to identify the dead. Three among the 20 injured are reported to in a critical condition. The passengers had boarded the KSRTC bus from Bengaluru late on Wednesday.

Preliminary reports from Coimbatore suggested a tyre burst had caused the truck to suddenly swerve and jump the divider. Officials said it was also possible that the driver of the container may have dozed off and lost control. The truck crew had fled immediately after the collision. 

Among the 48 passengers, most of them Keralites, 24 were scheduled to get down at Ernakulam; 19 in Thrissur; and 4 at Palakkad, a KSRTC official said.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has tasked District Collector, Palakkad, to rush medical aid and assistance to victims of the accident. Transport Minister AK Saseendran and Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar are on their way to the spot to coordinate relief operations. The Government will soon open a toll free helpline to provide the public more information about the victims and their status.

Palakkad District Police Chief, G Siva Vikram and 20 officers are at the accident site coordinating with the local authorities. The Kerala Government has sent a fleet of ambulances to Avinashi to bring the bodies of victims home. According to information reaching the State Police Control room here, the dead are mostly from Palakkad, Thrissur and Ernakulam districts.

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Published on February 20, 2020
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