9 killed, 20 hurt in TN bus accident

Nine people were killed and at least 20 injured after a privately-operated tourist bus met with an accident near Valliyoor in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu in the early hours of Friday.

The bus was heading for Thiruvananthapuram from Velankanni, via Kanyakumari. Five of the deceased, including two children, were residents of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam in Kerala while the four others were from Gujarat and Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu.

The incident happened at about 5 am on the Nagercoil-Tirunelveli National Highway, at Pilakkottai Paarai near Valliyoor.

The deceased have been identified as Sujin (5) from Kochuthura in Thiruvananthapuram, Mary Nisha (30) and her daughter Alroy (two), both residents of Mudakkara in Kollam, Vinod and his wife Ancy, both natives of Valiathura in Thiruvananthapuram, Jimmy and Edwin Michael (from Kanyakumari district), Anjali and Angley (from Gujarat).

Vinod and Ancy were on their first trip together to Velankanni after their wedding on January 2. Mary Nisha and daughter Alroy were travelling with Biju, Mary’s husband, who also sustained injuries in the accident.

The injured have been admitted in the Kanyakumari Medical College Hospital at Asaripallam.

Preliminary reports said the driver of the bus was in light sleep and lost control of the vehicle after ramming into a road divider.

 The bus which ran daily services on the route was carrying about 40 passengers, many of them heading back home after a visit to the Velankanni Church.

“According to official reports reaching us, the driver could have dozed off, leading to the accident. He has also sustained a minor injury,” S Chandrakumar, Circle Inspector at the border town of Parassala, told Deccan Herald.

The condition of the four of the injured is critical.
 

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