19 killed as container falls on Kerala-bound bus in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruppur

25 passengers injured; police say truck driver fell asleep at the wheel.

February 20, 2020 09:00 am | Updated November 28, 2021 11:26 am IST - Tiruppur:

At least 19 people were killed in a collision between a KSRTC omni bus en route to Kerala and a container truck on the outskirts of Tiruppur city in the early hours of February 20, 2020.

At least 19 people were killed in a collision between a KSRTC omni bus en route to Kerala and a container truck on the outskirts of Tiruppur city in the early hours of February 20, 2020.

Nineteen people on board a Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus were killed when a 30-tonne truck hit the central median of the National Highway and the container it was carrying fell on the bus on the outskirts of Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu early on Thursday.

The accident occurred near Avinashi on NH 544 connecting Salem and Kochi. Police said the bus was plying from Bengaluru to Ernakulam. Around 3.15 a.m., the truck carrying imported tiles from the Kochi port hit the central median, which was about a foot high, on the six-lane highway and entered the opposite lane.

The sudden jerk caused the detachment of the heavy container, which fell on the bus that was passing by, crushing one side of the passenger vehicle, according to the police.

Also read | T.N. bus accident: Kerala CM orders inquiry, Ministers to visit spot

Driver arrested

The Tiruppur city police nabbed truck driver A. Hemaraj, 38, who fled the accident spot, near Perundurai in Erode district.

“He fell asleep while driving the truck,” Tiruppur Police Commissioner Sanjay Kumar told The Hindu.

The bus had a seating capacity of 48 passengers and two crew members, of whom 19, including driver Gireesh died, and 25 were injured. Among the 50 people (as per the KSRTC list), 46 have been accounted for and the status of four is yet to be confirmed, according to the police. They are trying to ascertain if the four had boarded the vehicle or had left the accident spot on their own having possibly sustained only minor injuries.

Tiruppur Collector K. Vijayakarthikeyan, the Police Commissioner and other district officials visited the accident site around 7 a.m.


Mr. Vijayakarthikeyan told The Hindu that 25 injured passengers had been shifted to multiple hospitals, including private hospitals in Tiruppur and Coimbatore. One injured passenger was referred to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital. The bodies of all the victims were shifted to the Tiruppur Government Hospital.

A scene at the accident site on the National Highway near Thirumuruganpoondi, near Tiruppur in Tami Nadu early Thursday.

The accident occurred on the National Highway near Thirumuruganpoondi around 3.40 a.m. as the truck coming from Kerala lost control and entered the opposite lane, resulting in the collision


Case registered

The Thirumuruganpoondi police registered a case against the arrested truck driver. He fled the accident spot and told an acquaintance to pick him up at a spot in Perundurai, which is when the police nabbed him around 12.30 p.m.

He was booked under Sections 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 304A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code. He is expected to be remanded in judicial custody.


Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.