Eleven persons, including eight women, were killed when the van in which they were travelling collided with a lorry at Rasipalayam village near Mohanur in this district on Wednesday.

Police said the dead were among 23 persons returning to Thanjavur after paying condolences to a relative who died at Mohanur on Wednesday morning. It is said that the van was negotiating a blind curve when it collided with the lorry.

From initial eyewitness accounts they received, the police said that the lorry was on the wrong side as the driver of the lorry, Mehta (26) of Metalla near Rasipuram, did not want the vehicle to hit the branches of a tree on the left.

But, it rammed the front of the van and dragged it for nearly 30 feet before leaving it overturned in a pit by the side of the road. Locals who heard the crash rushed to the spot and started the rescue operations immediately.

Six occupants of the van got caught under it and died on the spot, three died on the way to the hospital while two died in the intensive care unit. The dead were identified as Rajendran, Duraimanikam, Mohammed Ibrahim (the van driver), Shanthi, Kamatchi, Parvathi, Ayerasu, Kalavathi, Neelavathi, Kalaimagal and Anjalai. The police informed the bereaved at Mohanur of the incident. They, in turn, informed the family members of the dead and the injured in Thanjavur.

Three of the injured were admitted and getting treated at a private hospital near Mohanur while the rest, including a six-year-old-child, who escaped with multiple fractures, were getting treated at the Namakkal government hospital. The truck driver who escaped with a fractured leg was admitted in a private hospital.

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