CHENNAI: The driver of a lorry carrying vegetables from the city to Andhra Pradesh was charred to death when the vehicle toppled and caught fire after colliding with a container lorry near Tiruttani on Thursday.
Police said the driver Arumugam (50) was trapped in the cabin even as four others travelling along with him either managed to wriggle out or were rescued by local villagers.
Arumugam had started from Parrys early in the morning and the lorry was proceeding towards Nagari in AP. Around 7 am, on the Chennai-Tirupati High Road near Medhinipuram village, it collided with a container lorry.
“Arumugam had tried to apply the brake to avoid a collision. However, the vehicle skidded and toppled on the road. Soon its diesel tank caught fire and the lorry was engulfed in flames,” said a police official in Tiruttani.
Passersby and members of the public tried to rescue those trapped in the driver’s cabin. “The villagers had broken open the window panes and pulled four load workers from it. But Arumugam was injured badly and unable to move,” the official added.
Even as the villagers watched helplessly, the flames engulfed Arumugam. Firefighters who arrived at the spot doused the flames and the vehicle was cleared off the road. Arumugam was a resident of Natham village near Nagari. His body was handed over to his relatives after an autopsy.
Four other load workers who were injured in the accident are undergoing treatment in a hospital.