A day after the road accident that killed eight persons at Poovarasakudi on Pudukottai-Aranthangi highway on Wednesday, C. Manoharan, District Collector, handed over solatium of Rs. 1 lakh to the next of the kin of seven schoolchildren and the milk van driver. All of them were killed on the spot in the accident involving a private bus.

The students, all hailing from Vijayaragunathapuram village, studied at Ramasamy Deivanai Ammal Government Higher Secondary School at Vallathirakottai, and belonged to families of daily wagers. V.C. Ramaiah, District panchayat president, C. Muthumari, Revenue Divisional Officer were present.

Schools closed

Residents of the district were still gripped with grief. The Ramasamy Deivanai Ammal Government Higher Secondary School, the panchayat union primary schools at Vijayaragunathapuram and Kaikurichi remained closed.

Students of Galili Thulir Illam paid homage to those killed in the accident. Carrying candles, they observed silence to mourn the death.

Forum plea

Meanwhile, the district wing of the Tamil Nadu Science Forum has urged the State government to make special arrangements for the operation of buses to cater to the needs of schoolchildren. As an additional facility, students with bus passes should be permitted to travel by private buses. It adopted a resolution demanding action against operators of over-speeding private buses.

K. Jayabalan, district secretary of the forum, and L. Prabakaran, district president, spoke.