VILLUPURAM: A speeding mini-lorry ferrying fish from Puducherry to Kerala capsized near Ulundurpet on Sunday as the tyre got punctured and it ran out of control, strewing fish all over the roadside. Two were injured and hospitalised.
Villagers from an adjoining hamlet, instead of rushing to the aid of the injured, started collecting the fish from the capsized lorry. They were later dispersed by the police. This has become a regular practice with the villagers, who in at least two other instances made off with goods rather than offering to help.
According to sources, the mini lorry was driven by Sivasankaran (35) from Seerkazhi near Chidambaram and accompanied by fish-seller Muhammad Ali (63) from Cuddalore.
Around 6 pm, the lorry was travelling on Ulundurpet to Salem road and the rear left tyre got punctured near R R Kuppam. After this, the vehicle went out of control and capsized.
Meanwhile, the villagers from the nearby hamlet got the news and rushed to the spot. Instead of helping out the injured persons, they started collecting fish from the spot. Both Sivasankaran and Ali were stuck in the lorry and shouted for help. People passing through the spot stopped their vehicles and tried to get them out.
Eddaikal police officials and highway patrol police rushed to the spot, warned the villagers and cleared them from the spot. Then they sent the injured persons to Ulundurpet hospital. The police then put back the remaining fish in plastic cases and repositioned the lorry using a crane. Inquiry revealed that the lorry was over speeding.
A source added that since the road was broadened into four lanes, the number of accidents have increased.