Six dead, two injured as truck hits omnibus

COIMBATOR: Six people, including three family members, were killed when a high-speed truck slammed into a stationary omnibus bus in Salem on Saturday night.

Police say G Thirunavukarasu, 61, his wife Vijaya, 60, his son T Ravikumar, 41, their relatives T Senthilvelan, 46, Subramani, 40 and Deepan, 24, the bus cleaner have died when the truck loaded with sand hit the bus bound for Chennai. Salem-Chennai National Highways near Vazhapadi at around 11:55 p.m. Five died on the spot, while Vijaya succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital.

Two others, Madeswari, 60, and her son Jayaprakash, 40, were admitted to Salem Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College and Hospital. While the private bus was stationary at the Pethanaickenpalayam Town Panchayat office, passengers were loading their luggage into the storage area on the right side of the bus when the accident occurred.

Police said Thirunavukarasu, his family members and relatives were heading to Chennai to attend a family function, while the truck loaded with sand was heading towards Attur from Salem. The bodies were sent to Attur Government Hospital for an autopsy.

Traffic was interrupted for some time on the busy section due to the accident. Ethapur Police registered a case and arrested Namakkal truck driver Karthik and omni bus driver Parameshwaran.

Police said the accident could have been avoided if the omnibus had stopped on the service road instead of the NH. Salem District Collector S Karmegam, Superintendent of Police Sree Abhinav and other officials attended the scene of the accident on Sunday.

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