4 killed as lorries go up in flames

HOSUR, JULY 12. Four persons were charred to death and two others suffered serious burns, when a methanol-filled tanker lorry and a mud-laden lorry went up in flames at Soolagiri near Hosur on Wednesday.

A Government Transport Corporation (GTC) bus and a coal-laden lorry were also gutted with the methanol from the tanker flowing on the road.

Police said the tanker lorry bound for Krishnagiri capsized while negotiating a sharp curve.

It caught fire and crashed into the mud-laden lorry, coming from the opposite direction, which was also engulfed in flames.

In the mishap, both the driver and cleaner of the tanker lorry and two others travelling atop the mud load of the other lorry were charred to death. A goat also perished in the fire.

The driver and cleaner of the mud-laden lorry, who escaped with grievous burns, have been admitted to a hospital in Bangalore. Meanwhile, the passengers of a GTC bus bound for Bangalore from Vellore had an escape, when the driver, spotting the spreading fire, reversed the vehicle to a safe distance and got the passengers to alight. However, the fire engulfed the bus and also a coal-laden lorry which fell into a ditch when its driver attempted to reverse the vehicle to safety.

The driver and cleaner of the vehicle escaped unhurt.

The four bodies recovered from the accident spot were charred beyond recognition.

Mr. M. N. Manjunatha, Superintendent of Police, who visited the spot and monitored the clearing operations, said steps have been taken to identify those killed, using the vehicle numbers.

The accident, which occurred at around 8.30 am, brought the traffic on the Hosur-Krishnagiri Highway to a halt for over four hours until the vehicles caught in mishap were cleared of the road.

Fire engines from Hosur, Krishnagiri and Bargur were pressed into service to put out the fire.