Tamil Nadu road accident: 19 killed in bus-truck collision in Coimbatore, most victims from Kerala

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Tamil Nadu road accident: The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) PRO said both the driver and conductor were among those killed in the accident.

At least 19 people were killed and several injured in a major accident in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore early Thursday morning after a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus — Kl 15 A 282 — collided with a container truck. The bus was on its way to Kerala's Ernakulam from Karnataka's Bengaluru. Read this story in Malayalam, Tamil

Among the casualties include 14 male and 5 female passengers. The accident took place in Avinashi town. Authorities have also issued two helpline numbers 9495099910, 7708331194.

According to preliminary reports, one of the tyres of the container truck burst, after which it crossed the median on the highway and crashed into the right side of the bus coming from the opposite direction.

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased. "I pray to God to rest departed Souls in peace and to give strength to their families to overcome this unfathomable loss. I also pray to God for speedy recovery of all the injured," he said in a statement.

According to reports, Tiruppur police have arrested the driver of the truck. He has been identified as Hemraj and belongs to Kerala. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) PRO said both the driver and conductor were among those killed in the accident. "Preliminary information from Kerala SRTC says that both driver and conductor have died. The bus had left Shanthi Nagar bus station in Bengaluru at 8.15 pm yesterday."

Kerala Transport Minister A K Saseendran said, "48 passengers were on board. 42 of them are from Kerala, going to Ernakulam, Palakkad, Thrissur." The bodies have been taken to the Tirupur government hospital. Kerala ministers VS Sunil Kumar and Saseendran are heading to the spot.

Deputy Tehsildar of Tiruppur, Alagarasan said, "The accident took place at 3:30 am today. Over 100 officers including police and medical staff are carrying out the rescue work." He also said the container was coming in the wrong direction and rammed into the bus.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has instructed the District Collector of Palakkad to provide emergency medical care to the accident victims. Procedures to identify the deceased are in progress.

Some of the dead have been identified as Rossley from Palakkad, Gireesh (Ernakulam), Igni Rafael (Ollur, Thrissur), Kiran Kumar, Haneesh (Thrissur), Sivakumar (Ottapalam), Rajesh K. (Palakkad), Gismon Shaju (Thuravoor) and Naseeb Mohammed (Thrissur).

"All possible relief measures will be taken in cooperation with the government of Tamil Nadu and the District Collector of Tirupur," ANI quoted the CMO as saying.

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KSRTC bus accident: The bus was on its way to Ernakulam from Bengaluru. (ANI)

Karishma K, who was a passenger on board, said the accident happened around 3.15 am. Talking to The Indian Express, she said all the passengers were sleeping at the time of the accident and that she wasn't injured. "I couldn't recollect exactly that moment. I sat right behind the conductor's seat, second row on the left side. When I opened my eyes, I had a totally open view on my right side. A passenger sitting on my right side was still conscious. Several rows on my right side behind the driver seat were totally gone when the lorry rammed into the bus," she said.

As the entire front portion of the bus was destroyed, Karishma said she managed to come out of the bus through the baggage chamber below, which was broke open by rescue teams. "Some passengers managed to jump through the window while some whee seen breaking the window glasses to come out," she said.

Meanwhile, in another accident in Tamil Nadu, five people were killed in a collision between a private Omni luxury bus and a mini-bus, which was on its way to Rajasthan from Kanyakumari.