The victims include three tourists and driver who was changing a punctured tyre

Four persons died on the spot and three others were said to be in critical condition in an accident involving a van and a lorry in the Dharmapuri district.

In another accident, more than 30 passengers sustained injuries when a bus in which they were travelling went out of control in Tiruchengode taluk near Namakkal on Saturday.

The accident involving the van took place in Maattukkaranur village on the Dharmapuri-Salem National Highways on Saturday night. The lorry owner M. Janak Singh (52), driver K. Jilesingh (53) and cleaner R. Bhavan (23) were arrested and remanded to custody.

Police sources told The Hindu that the accident occurred when some tourists were returning after visiting a number of places including Tiruvannamalai and Vellore. A truck loaded with goods rammed the tourist van while its driver was changing the punctured wheel.

The van driver-cum-owner K. Paramasivam (36) of Tirunelveli, S. Kamalanathan (34), K. Mohan (54) and her daughter M. Iswrya (18) of Tiruppur district died instantaneously, as they were on the right side of the van while the wheel was being changed. In the impact of the collision, the van got pushed into an agricultural field.

The three injured persons were referred to a hospital in Coimbatore by the Dharmapuri Government Medical College Hospital, while others took first aid and left for Coimbatore.

The Dharmapuri town police have registered a case under sections 279 (rash driving), 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life ), 338 (Causing hurt by act endangering life )and 304 A (Causing hurt by act endangering life of others) of Indian Penal Code and Investigations are on.

Out of danger

All the injured in the accident in which a private bus rammed a road-side tree at Karuvepampatti village in Tiruchengode taluk are out of danger. The Tiruchengode Rural Police registered a case. The bus shuttling between Tiruchengode (Namakkal district) and Jalakandapuram (Salem district) – via Sankari and Edapadi – started from the Tiruchengode Bus Stand at 6.30 a.m. on Saturday.

Kumar (34), of Avaniyur near Edapadi, was driving the bus. He reportedly lost control while negotiating a curve at Karuvepampatti, police said after preliminary enquiries.

Villagers who were lighting fireworks heard the crashing sound and the loud cries for help and rushed to the spot to rescue the victims. The victims were rushed to the Tiruchengode Government Hospital (GH) and private hospitals in six EMRI 108 ambulances.

Victims have been identified as A. Vishnupriyan (8) and his brother Amalraj (6) of Paramathi Velur, Raja (32) and his wife Palaniammal (48) of Jalagandapuram, Sahadevan (46), his wife Sundari (42) and daughter Swetha (14) of Coimbatore, Poongodi (37) and daughters Sangeetha (18) and Suba (16) of Nainampalayam, Suba (17) of Vittampalayam, Krishnan (26) of Sankari, Palaniammal (60) and Kandasamy (70) of Konganapuram, Chinnadurai (36) and Chinannan (56) of Edapadi, Murugan (38), Sivakumar (46), Lakshmi (38) and Kumaravel (46) of Tiruchengode.

“Seven of them were shifted to private hospitals in Coimbatore, Erode and Tiruchengode. Five others who suffered head injuries and fractures were referred to the Erode GH,” the police and hospital sources said.

The police said the driver was not arrested as he was injured and was undergoing treatment.

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