Forest and police managed to retrieve six bodies within hours of accident; 50 injured recovering in hospital

Seven passengers died when the bus in which they were travelling fell into a gorge on the Valparai-Aliyar ghat section on Saturday night. The accident took place at 10.30 p.m. near the second of the 40 hairpin bends.

Driver D. Sivakumar, 35, was behind the wheels. The vehicle left Valparai around 8.30 p.m. The police identified the victims as Sarojini (58), wife of Narayanan, of Valparai, Chandrakanth (19), son of Kalimuthu, of Valparai, Nagaraj (54), son of Veerappan, of Oosimalai Top, Panneerselvam (46), son of Ramasamy of Oosimalai Top, Chandrabose (55), of Periya Kallar Estate, Sathish (7), son of Ananda Kumar, of Valparai and Vellaian (55), son of Odappan, of Valaparai.

The vehicle after falling into the gorge rolled over twice before coming to a halt near a tree.

Thrown out

Some passengers and their belongings were thrown out the vehicle.

All the seven died on the spot.

Forest and police personnel rushed to the accident site. Powerful searchlights of the Forest Department came in handy during the rescue operation.

The forest and police managed to retrieve six of the seven bodies within hours of the accident.

They recovered the body of Vellaian after daybreak on Sunday. Ropes were used to get down the terrain to reach the injured.

They were then slowly taken to the road below.

The police said the rescue operations ended around noon with a crane lifting the bus.

The services of 30 ambulances, including private ones from Pollachi, Udumalpet, Valaparai and Anamalai, were utilised. The injured, around 50, were rushed to the Pollachi Government Hospital.

Meanwhile, a release from the district administration said State Agriculture Minister S. Damodaran, Deputy Speaker V. Jayaraman, Members of the Legislative Assembly and Collector M. Karunagaran rushed to the spot to supervise the rescue operations and called on the injured in hospital.

The Kadamparai police have registered a case.

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