ERODE: Five persons, including two children, died and 31 others sustained serious injuries when a lorry in which they were travelling from Andhiyur to Bargur Hill turned turtle at Thalakarai on Wednesday evening.
The victims were identified as Manikandan (9), son of Madappan, Nandini (2), daughter of Rajan, Madammal (40), wife of Karuppasamy, all from Thalakarai, and Gurusamy (30) and Chinnathambi (45) of Thoppur Colony, Andhiyur.
In the list of injured were 16 women, including two kids. Most of them were farm workers and tribals. The lorry driver-cum-owner Sakthi (25), of Bargur, was secured by police. He had reportedly jumped out of the lorry and escaped.
Bus services to the Bargur Hill from Andhiyur had been erratic forcing people to travel atop vans and sand laden lorries. The few buses the ply between the two destinations are usually packed with people, forcing many passengers to occupy the roof of the bus.
On Wednesday, many passengers were, as was the practice, perched on the sand laden lorry when, while negotiating a curve, it fell into a gorge and turned turtle.
All the five victims were killed on the spot. The injured were rushed to the Andhiyur GH, where the condition of few was said to be critical. Erode Collector V K Shanmugam and SP S Panneerselvam inspected the spot and also visited the injured at the GH.
Eyewitnesses said that such accidents could be averted if the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) operated more buses.