VELLORE: Seven persons, including three women, were killed and over were 35 injured when the mini-lorry in which they were travelling to attend a funeral, turned turtle near Ongapadi village on Thursday afternoon.
Police said around 55 persons were travelling in an Eicher mini-lorry (TN 46 0059) from Pallalakuppam village to Varathalampattu to attend a funeral. When the lorry was travelling on the narrow road between Thangal village and Varathalampattu village in Ongapadi around 1 pm, driver Venkatesan tried to overtake a two-wheeler and veered towards the right.
The lorry skidded off the road and due to the slippery slush and mud, slipped into the farmland near the road, landing upside down.
“The road was less than 20 feet wide and the soil on either side of the road was loose due to rains. The moment the vehicle’s tyre hit the soil it fell upside down on the farmland,” said a policeman. The farm was about three feet below the road.
Police personnel attached to Veppankuppam and fire service personnel from Odugathur Fire Service and Rescue Operation Station rushed to the spot. The police personnel engaged an earthmover to lift the vehicle. The injured were rescued at 1.30 pm, said the police. The deceased were identified as Chakravarthi (50), Rajammal (50), Kuppan (65), Sampurnam (60), Samikannu (50), Rukumani (45) and Anumuthu (50), all residents of Pallalakuppam village.
Anumuthu was declared brought dead at the Government Vellore Medical College and Hospital (GVMCH) at Adukkamparai, while Rukumani succumbed at the hospital. Five others died on the spot when the lorry slipped from the narrow road between Thangal village and Varathalampattu Village and turned upside down. It fell into around 10 feet deep farmland. The accident occurred at about 1 pm.
The injured were shifted to GVMCH in seven 108 ambulances from Sathuvahcari, Bagayam, Odugathur, Pallikonda, Anaicut, Veppankuppam and Gudiyattam.
Sources said that a total of 45 injured persons were taking treatment in the hospital. Of them, 18 were critically injured. A case has been registered.