ALAPPUZHA: Two accidents claimed five lives, including that of a nine-year-old boy, on the National Highway at Kayamkulam in Alappuzha district on Monday.
In one accident, four of a family were killed when the car in which they were travelling collided with a lorry near Kariyilakulangara. In the other accident, a nine-year-old boy was fatally knocked down by a speeding tipper lorry at Koprappura, near Vallikkunnu.
Those killed in the Kariyilakulangara accident are M. Satheendra Nath, 45; his wife Bindu, 38; Bindu's mother Lalithamma, 60; and the couple's son Gokul, 11. Their daughter, Geetu, 14, who sustained injuries, had a miraculous escape.
She is undergoing treatment at Alappuzha Medical College Hospital.
The accident occurred around 2 p.m. when Mr. Nath, a medical representative, and his family were returning from the Chakkulathukavu temple, near Tiruvalla, to their home at the Netta Housing Colony, Nedumangadu, near Thiruvananthapuram. The Kariyilakulangara police registered a case and arrested the lorry driver Gopalakrishnan.
In the Koprappura accident, which occurred around 1.30 p.m., nine-year-old Suraj, son of Shantakumar, a daily wage labourer and resident of Bharanikavu, was killed on the spot when a tipper lorry ran over him. Suraj, a Class IV student of the Thekke Mankuzhy N.S.S. Lower Primary School, was returning home with his mother Anitha from the Kayamkulam town after purchasing a new set of uniform.
The mother-son duo was crossing the road and had almost reached the other side when the tipper lorry, which reportedly overtook another vehicle, hit Suraj.
Enraged local people attempted to set the vehicle on fire. The driver fled the spot.
A fire engine from the Kayamkulam Fire Station reached the spot and doused the fire before the lorry was gutted.
The mob then turned its ire on the fire engine and pelted stones at it. Fire engine driver Suresh Kumar sustained injuries in the eye.
It took almost four hours for the Vallikunnu police to bring the situation under control. Cases were registered against the tipper lorry driver and against the crowd for damaging the fire engine. The lorry was seized.