Chief Minister Oommen Chandy; Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan; Speaker G. Karthikeyan; and leaders of various political parties have condoled the death of seven engineering students and the cleaner of a tourist bus which met with an accident at Thekkinkanam near Munnar on Monday.

The Chief Minister said the government would bear the cost of treatment of the students and that he had asked Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar to rush to the scene of the accident.

Mr. Achuthanandan expressed shock at the deaths and demanded a detailed inquiry into the accident.

The government should ensure that travel to tourist centres was safe, he said.

Mr. Karthikeyan expressed shock at the loss of eight lives in the accident and cancelled his official programmes on Monday.

He also instructed district officials to extend all assistance to the families of those involved in the accident.

KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala; BJP State president V. Muralidharan also expressed shock at the bus accident and hoped that the government would extend assistance to the affected families.

Minister for Education P.K. Abdu Rabb ordered a probe into the bus accident that claimed the lives of seven engineering students.

Mr. Rabb asked Director of Technical Education J. Letha to conduct the inquiry. Among other things, the Director of Technical Education would also probe how students of a college could go on an excursion without the knowledge and permission of the college authorities.

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