In a road accident involving two private vans, four girl students were killed and 31 others injured at Semmanguppam near the SIPCOT Industrial Estate here on Monday.

The deceased are identified as P.Akilandeswari (13) and P.Abirami (15) of Sivan Koil Street (who are sisters), and R. Pavithra (12) and R. Divya (16) of Vadakku Street, both in Thirochopuram.

While the first three died on the spot, Divya succumbed to injuries on the way to JIPMER Hospital at Puducherry. The injured include 17 students, 13 employees engaged by a sub-contractor of a private oil company and a cyclist.

The condition of six students is said to be serious. Nine students, 10 employees and the cyclist have been admitted to the Cuddalore headquarters government hospital and the others have been referred to private hospitals.

Van driver R. Manivel (23), was proceeding towards Cuddalore to drop 19 students (four boys and 15 girls) at four different schools. They are from Periyakuppam, Nanjalingampettai, Thiruchopuram and Alapakkam. A pick-up van driver Arul Murugan (23) was transporting 15 employees (four men and 11 women) to the oil company premises.

When a cyclist C. Sivalingam (65) came in the way of the pick-up van, the driver slammed the brakes and swerved the vehicle to the right. In the process, the vehicle hit the cyclist and ripped open the entire right side of the oncoming van.

Three siblings namely Anbarasan (16), Rama Devi (17) and Lakshmi Devi (17), escaped with abrasions.

The cyclist who was thrown into a roadside pit suffered a fracture in the hand. Meanwhile, Health Minister M.R.K.Panneerselvam, accompanied by District Collector P.Seetharaman, Superintendent of Police Ashwin Kotnis and Cuddalore Municipal Chairman T.Thangarasu called on the injured in the government hospital and consoled them and their parents.

4 die in lorry-van collision in Dharmapuri

Four persons were killed and 15 others injured in a lorry-mini van collision near Pennagaram in Dharmapuri district on Monday evening.

Police sources told The Hindu that the accident occurred when a group was proceeding for a funeral in Dhinnappatti village near Papparappatti from Bommahalli village near Karimangalam in a mini van. The accident took place near Mamarathupallam near Alamarathupatti on the Papparapatti-Pennagaram village road. The mini-van overturned after hitting a cement-laden lorry coming from the opposite direction.

Three persons P. Kannammal 65, A. Selvi 40 and V. Kuppan 50 died on the spot. K. Kavitha 30 died on the way to hospital.

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