Eighteen members of a marriage party, including fifteen women, were killed in a collision between a mini-lorry and a lorry near Palacode in Dharmapuri district on Wednesday night.

Thirty-eight persons, including 24 women, were injured.

The injured were rushed to the Dharmapuri Medical College Hospital and Palacode taluk hospital. In connection with this the mini-lorry driver, Rangaiah Gounder, has been arrested.

Police sources said the mini-lorry in which the family members and relatives of the marriage party travelled dashed against the lorry coming in the opposite direction. The bride and her parents, who were sitting in the driver's cabin, escaped with simple injuries.

The accident occurred when the mini-lorry driver was about to overtake a tractor near a private school in Kartharapatti at Kovilooranpatti, about 4 km from Palacode on the Dharmapuri main road.

Ten passengers in the mini-lorry died on the spot and eight succumbed to their injuries in hospital.

The marriage was scheduled for Thursday morning. Those killed in the accident were: Thavamani (45), Belrampatti; M. Veeri (42), Padamadai; M. Devi (32); wife of Madhiyazhagan, Thirumalvadi; M. Maharani (42), wife of Mahendran, Narsipuram near Pennagaram; M. Shantana (27), wife of Munivel, Thirumalvadi; M. Suganya (16), daughter of Madhi, Thirumalvadi; G. Sri (13), son of Govindaraj, Thirumalvadi; S. Nagendran (22), son of Seenu, Thirumalvadi; M. Rupa (34), daughter of Muniayappan, Thirumalvadi; D. Vairammal (60), wife of Duraisamy, Kalappambadi; R. Rama (32), wife of Ravi, Chinnampalli; M. Sridevi (19), daughter of Muniraj, Thirumalvadi; S. Lavanya (15), daughter of Sadasivam, Thirumalvadi; T. Priyanka (16), daughter of Thangavel, Narsipuram; C. Rami (55), wife of Chinraj, Kalappambadi; P. Bakkiyam (40), wife of Palani, Thirumalvadi; T. Janaki (42), wife of Thangavel, Narsipuram; and A. Malarkodi (42), Narsipuram.

Collector P. Amudha, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Salem Range, G. Venkatraman, Superintendent of Police R. Sudhakar rushed to the spot.

P. Sivanandi, Inspector-General of Police, West Zone, visited the Thirumalvadi village and the place of the accident at Kartharapatti on Thursday.