In yet another ghastly road accident that provided the second consecutive Black Friday for the district, 13 persons were killed and 30 others injured when a bus lost control and rammed a tree at Thelakkad, near Perinthalmanna.

The bus was destroyed in the crash, and many of the injured were admitted to intensive care wards of two private hospitals at Perinthalmanna. The accident occurred at 1.30 p.m. when the private bus heading towards Alanallur from Perinthalmanna burst one of its tyres on a slope, careened off the road, and rammed a mango tree after hitting a telephone post. The bus then overturned and fell into a depth of six feet.

The dead were identified as Mankadakkuzhiyil Mariyam, 50; Kavannayil Cheriyakkan, 55; Adarikkal Safeela, 19; Pacheeri Neethu,18; Kavanayil Sabira, 17; Ponniyath Fatima, 37; Kozhipatham Mubashira; Mangalakuzhiyil Sainaba; Madappodi Shamna, 17; Kappungal Safli, 17; Kavannayil Cherukki; Chilambanthodi Fatimath Nadiya, and bus driver Palliyalthodi Ithishan, 22.

The bus driver hailed from Manathumangalam. The others were from Melkulangara.

Seven of the bodies were shifted to the taluk hospital at Perinthalmanna and the remaining six to the General Hospital, Manjeri, for post-mortem. District Collector K. Biju said that all the bodies would be released on Friday night after post-mortem.

Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali visited the families of the victims and consoled them. Mr. Ali said that all possible help would be given to the kin of the dead. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is expected to visit the families of the dead on Friday night.

Last Friday, eight members of a family from Vallikkunnu were killed when a bus rammed an autorickshaw at Mukkola, near Tanur.

The Road Accident Action Forum (RAAF) demanded that a thorough investigation be conducted into the increasing incidents of accidents in the district. It said speeding and carelessness were the main causes of accidents in the district.

The Kerala School Teachers Association (KSTA) expressed grief at the death of students in the accident.

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