Tamil Nadu: In an unfortunate incident, at least eight people were killed and several others were reported injured after a bus they were travelling in fell into a gorge near Marapalam of Tamil Nadu on Saturday. Police informed that a preliminary inquiry revealed that the driver lost control of the wheels. There were a total of 55 people on the ill-fated bus that ended up falling into a 100-foot-deep gorge at Marapalam near Coonoor. Chief Minister M K Stalin has expressed anguish over the deaths and announced cash relief to the kin of the deceased.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Coimbatore Zone, Saravana Sundar, while speaking to ANI, said, "Around eight people died, while a few were seriously injured in the accident. Further investigation is underway."
Palani Samy, Joint Director of Coonoor Government Hospital, also confirmed 8 deaths. "The deceased included three females and 5 males," he said. The victims hailed from Kadayam in Tenkasi district and they were returning home when the incident happened. Most of the injured persons have been sent to nearby Coimbatore for medical treatment.
Locals rushed to rescue people
Following the incident, locals, members of the police department and fire and rescue services rushed to the aid of the victims and rescued the injured. The bus toppled in the impact and the rescue workers were seen using ropes to get down to the ill-fated vehicle and reach out to the passengers.
CM announced a relief of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased
Expressing concern over the accident, Chief Minister Stalin expressed his sympathies with the kin of the victims. He announced a relief of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs one lakh to those under treatment with grievous injuries.
In a statement, he said Rs 50,000 would be provided to those who had suffered minor injuries. He directed special treatment for the injured. The CM said he has deputed Tourism Minister K Ramachandran to oversee the rescue and relief work.
Meanwhile, the district administration has set up a phone line--1077, regarding information about the accident. Information will be also available on 0423-2450034.
As per the police, the bus was on its way from Ooty to Mettupalaym in the Coimbatore district of the Southern state when the accident took place.
The injured had been rushed to Coonoor government hospital for treatment. "55 people were in the bus. 35 people were injured and sent to Coonoor government hospital for treatment by ambulance," they said.
(with inputs from agencies)