Seven school students and a mini-lorry driver were killed in an accident on the Pudukottai-Aranthangi State highway on Wednesday.
The students had hitched a ride in the mini-lorry to reach their school. When the mini-lorry driver Arumugam swerved to avoid a cyclist near Valanadu, a private bus rammed the vehicle and in the impact two students were thrown on the road, while others were trapped inside the mini-lorry. The mini-lorry fell into a ditch.
The victims were identified as R Sathya (12), S Mathiyalagan (17), A Vishnu (17), R Narayanasamy (13), M Manikandan (13), M Arun Kumar (13), S Sivakumar (12) and driver Arumugam. S Manikandan (17), R Rajesh Kumar (12) and cleaner Thiagarajan (30) sustained severe injuries.
On information, Superintendent of Police Uma rushed to the spot. DIG A Amalraj also visited the spot. Bodies were sent to Pudukkottai GH, while the injured were rushed to the GH.
Among the injured, the condition of Manikandan and Rajesh Kumar was said to be critical and they were referred to the Thanjavur Medical College hospital., while Thiagarajan was undergoing treatment at the Pudukkottai GH.
Police arrested the private bus driver Balachandran (50) of Konakudi in Pudukkottai Pvt Buses a Menace
Locals complained that private buses were causing havoc on Pudukottai roads due to lesser number of government buses in most of the routes in the district. At times, there used to be ‘competition’ between two buses to get more number of passengers and very often, they collide with each other, the residents said.
After the incident on Wednesday, the Collector has ordered stoppage of private buses on the Pudukkottai-Aranthangi route.
Firm Named ‘Yama’
Among private bus operators, it is said that the PLA runs most number of buses and almost all the buses overspeed. The residents have nicknamed them Yaman due the reckless and dangerous driving.