20 killed as omni bus on way to Kerala collides with truck near Tiruppur

Most of the 48 passengers on the KSRTC bus, which was going from Bengaluru to Ernakulam, were from Kerala

At least 20 people were killed in a collision between an omni bus en route to Kerala and a container truck on the outskirts of Tiruppur city in western Tamil Nadu early on Thursday.

Police said that the omni bus operated by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) was plying from Bengaluru to Ernakulam. The accident occurred on the National Highway near Thirumuruganpoondi around 3.40 a.m. as the tiles-laden truck coming from Kerala lost control and entered the opposite lane, resulting in the collision, police said.

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The bus driver was killed on the spot. A total of 48 people were travelling on the bus, police said. Police personnel and Fire and Rescue Services personnel from Tiruppur North, Tiruppur South and Avinashi fire stations rushed to the spot for the rescue operations.

Over 20 passengers, who were rescued, were rushed to Tiruppur and Avinashi Government Hospitals as well as private hospitals in the vicinity. With some of the passengers grievously injured and few more bodies yet to be retrieved, the death toll is likely to increase, according to the police.

Tiruppur District Collector K. Vijayakarthikeyan visited the accident site on Thursday morning. Speaking to The Hindu, he said that the Palakkad Collector had been intimated regarding the accident. “Most of the passengers were from Kerala,” he said. The deceased and the injured will be identified after cross-checking with the list of passengers, Mr. Vijayakarthikeyan said.

Thirumuruganpoondi police registered a case and efforts to nab the truck driver are on.

The accident occurred on the National Highway near Thirumuruganpoondi around 3.40 a.m. as the truck coming from Kerala lost control and entered the opposite lane, resulting in the collision
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According to senior KSRTC officials in Kochi, the two driver-cum-conductors of the Garuda Volvo bus are among those reported dead.

Both of them are from Ernakulam district. While V.D. Gireesh hailed from Perumbavoor, V.R. Baiju is from Piravom, said Tajudeen Sahib, KSRTC’s District Transport Officer, Ernakulam, who is on his way to the accident spot. “The bus that belongs to Ernakulam depot began its trip from Bengaluru at 6.15 p.m. on Wednesday evening and was to arrive here at 5.50 a.m.,” he said.

Among the 48 passengers, 24 were to alight at Ernakulam, 19 in Thrissur and four at Palakkad, he said. The bus left Ernakulam on February 17 and was to return here on February 19. The trip was postponed by a day, Mr. Sahib said.

A Palakkad report said the bodies of 15 victims have been identified so far. The police are examining the travel documents of the remaining four victims to identify them.

V.K. Sreekandan, MP of Palakkad, joined Palakkad District Collector D. Balamurali and District Police Chief Shiva Vikram in the coordination of the rescue efforts.

Mr. Sreekandan said he was in touch with the relatives of the victims. The relatives of the four victims reached Tiruppur by mid-day.

The following is the list of the dead released by the police:

Grees, 43, from Perumbavur; Baiju, 17, from Arakkunnam; Igni Raphael, 39, from Ollur; Kiran Kumar, 33, from Nelakkal, Karnataka; Hanish, 25, from Thrissur; Sivakumar, 35, from Sreekrishnapuram, Palakkad; Ragesh, 35, from Thiruvegapura, Palakkad; Jismon Shaju, 24, from Thuravoor; Naseef Mohammed Ali, 24, Andathode; Iswarya; Roshana from Palakkad; and Manasi Manikandan, 25, from Bengaluru.

Names of other victims are yet to be released. Six of them are men and two women.

(With inputs from Kochi and Palakkad)

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