Three persons including a nine-month-old child were killed and 12 others, most of them belonging to the same family, were injured when the jeep they were travelling rammed into a tanker lorry at Kannadichal on Kottayam Kumarakom Road, a few kilometers away from Kumarakom, in the wee hours of Monday. Five of the injured are children.

The deceased have been identified as Theyyamma (55) of Kundukalayail House, Nedumkandom, Raji (19) daughter of Sadanandan of Madathummuri House, Nedumkandom and her nephew Arya Nandan (nine months), police said.

According to the police, the jeep carrying 15 persons was returning from a visit of Sri Mahadevar Temple, Thuravur, Alappuzha, when the mishap occurred. The family, who hail from Thuravur but now settled in Nedumkandom, were on an annual visit to their ancestral village. This time a few of their neighbours had accompanied them.

The accident occurred at 1:30 am on Monday. Nearly half a dozen of the passengers, were thrown out of the crammed vehicle into the water filled padasekharam on the side of the road in the impact of the collision. The nine-month old child and the 55-year-old Theyyamma died on the spot. Raji died on the way to Kottayam Government Medical College Hospital.

Those who have been admitted to Medical college Hospital with serious injuries include the child’s father Haridas, his wife and the child’s mother Seema, their elder son, two year old Devanand, among others.

The police said it could be either a case of the driver dozing off or either of the vehicles overspeeding. The jeep was pushed a few meters to the side of the padasekharam by the tanker which was carrying drinking water to a tourist resort in Kumarakom.

The police has registered a case and have taken the driver of the tanker into custody. It was only on March 23, that eleven people, including a rescue worker, lost their lives when a bus fell into Meenachil river on the same road, a few kilometers away.

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