A driver of a vegetable-laden load van and his assistant had a close shave when the speeding vehicle plunged into the Vaigai after smashing the parapet wall of the Kamaraj bridge across the river in the early hours of Thursday.

The police said the driver, S. Manikandan (27) and B. Shanmugaraj (29), both hailing from the city, escaped with minor injuries.

The police said the van was proceeding from the vegetable market at Paravai to Nagercoil when the driver lost control of the van, which hit an electric pole before breaking the parapet wall. Both the injured have been admitted to the Government Rajaji Hospital. The van was later pulled out from the riverbed.

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