In a head-on collision between a van and a fast passenger bus of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation at Nilamel on Friday morning, seven persons were killed. Seventeen of those critically injured have been admitted to the Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram and another four to the Gokulam Medical College Hospital, Venjarumoodu.

All those killed were travelling in the van and are natives of Bharathannur in Thiruvananthapuram. They were returning after a pilgrimage to Mookambika and were on the way to a relative’s house at Kadakkal. Police said the accident occurred at about 6.40 am.

Those killed were identified as Swanesha (40), Vijayamma (55), Rukmini (48), Usha (45), Ajit (35), Unnikuttan (7), and the van driver Shaji (35). Four bodies have been kept at a hospital in Kadakkal, two at the Thiruvananthapuram MCH and one body at the Gokulam MCH.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will visit Nilamel and Kaddakkal on Friday to assess the situation. The van suffered heavy damage in the accident and Fire and Rescue Force personnel along with the police and locals had a tough time rescuing those trapped in side.

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