Two persons were killed and three injured when three goods-carrying lorries collided with each other on the Neelambur By-Pass during the early hours of Friday. The traffic along this stretch of highway was disrupted for nearly four hours.

According to the police, a tanker lorry driven by Rajendran, 59, and cleaner Lakshmanan, 47, carrying chemicals from Eachanari, was proceeding towards Karur when another lorry, driven by Periasamy, 27, accompanied by cleaner Santosh, 20, carrying soft drinks bottles from Kerala, tried to overtake it around 4.50 a.m.

However, it collided with another lorry coming in the opposite direction that was carrying soaps from Dharmapuri to Kochi. The resulting collision killed Periasamy, 59, and Munirathnam, 31, the driver of the lorry carrying soaps, on the spot. Fire tenders and police personnel rushed to the spot and cleared the roads by around 8.30 a.m.

Santosh and Rajendran suffered injuries and are undergoing treatment. Lakshmanan, who jumped from the lorry, escaped with minor injuries.

The body of Munirathnam got caught in the vehicle. It was removed after a two-hour struggle in which the police and Fire and Rescue Services personnel deployed gas cutters to get through the mangled steel.

The accident resulted in soft drink bottles, soaps and chemicals getting strewn all over the area. With the vehicles completely mangled from the impact of the collision, their diesel tanks ruptured spreading the inflammable liquid across the road. The fire and rescue services personnel sprayed the area with water to remove the hazardous material. The lorries were taken away with the help of a crane.

A case has been registered at the Chettipalayam Police Station.