Four students were killed on the spot and fifty-five others were injured in an accident in which two college buses collided head-on in Mallapuram near Indoor on the Dharmapuri-Hogenakkal Road around 5 p.m. on Friday.

The condition of two other students is said to be critical, hospital sources said.

The dead were identified as Sridevi, B.A. II year, of Venkateswara Arts and Science College, Gayatri, B.E. final year, Jayam College of Engineering and Technology, Banu Priya of Venkateswara College of Arts and Science, Kumudha of Jayam College of Engineering and Technology.

The injured, including students and staff of both the colleges, were admitted to the Dharmapuri Medical College Hospital.

The bus belonging to the engineering college was coming from Nallanur near Pennagaram and heading towards Dharmapuri. The arts college’s bus was proceeding to Pennagaram. The victims were seated in the rows behind the driver. The driver of the engineering college’s bus, Thimmaraj (36), suffered a fracture in the leg. But, possibilities of more serious injuries were being checked for as he remained unconscious even around 9 p.m. The driver of the other bus fled the spot, police said.

P. Dillibabu, CPI (M) MLA from Harur rushed to the spot with the other party leaders within minutes of the accident and arranged the rescue operations. The MLA was at a public meeting in connection with the all-India rally organised against the Centre's policies.

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