A 25-year-old man returning to Erode after his engagement was killed along with his mother and a relative when the van in which they were travelling plunged into a ravine after skidding off the Burgur Ghat Road in the early hours of Tuesday.
Police said 24 others in the van were injured in the accident that occurred around 4 a.m. near Anthiyur.
The van, a goods carrier, was carrying more than 40 persons, all residents of Nallagoundankottai village in Anthiyur block. They were returning home after participating in an engagement ceremony held at Kalvarikadu near Burgur. The van was overloaded and the driver of the van lost control while negotiating a hairpin bend and the vehicle skidded off the road and fell into the ravine, police said.
S. Selvaraj, who was to be married on February 22, his mother Thangammal (50) and another relative Nadupaiyyan (45) were killed on the spot. Selvaraj was in the passenger seat, next to the driver. The vehicle hurtled about 200 ft into the ravine, but the driver, Marappan, jumped out as soon as the van veered off the road. A search is on for him.
The van lay fully damaged, with the driver’s cabin severed from the carriage and the front wheels entangled in a tree some feet away. The top of the carriage too came off.
Fire and rescue services personnel from Anthiyur rescued the persons who were trapped under the van. The injured were taken to the Anthiyur Government Hospital in three ambulances.
Nine persons, who received serious injuries, were given first aid at the Anthiyur hospital and referred to Erode Government Hospital for further treatment.
Traffic on the Burgur Ghat Road was affected for more than two hours following the accident.
The accident once again brought to light the continuing practice of transporting people on goods carriers. Five persons were killed and 31 injured in a similar accident on this road in May last year, involving a goods carrier.