Tamil Nadu: 8 killed, over 30 injured as tourist bus falls into deep gorge
Chennai/UNI: At least eight people were killed and more than 30 injured in a tourist bus accident in the hilly Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu on Saturday evening.
Police sources said a group of 54 tourists from the southern Tenkasi district were returning in a private bus to Udhagamandalam after spending the weekend.
The bus driver lost control of the vehicle near the ninth hairpin bend at Parliyaru Point at Coonoor, and the vehicle plunged into the deep gorge.
Eight people were killed in the tragic accident and more than 30 were hurt.
The injured were rescued by the teams of police and fire service and rushed to Coimbatore Medical College hospital for treatment.
Six of the eight deceased were identified as Muppudathi (67), Murugesan (65), Ilango (64), Devikala (42), Kousalya (29) and Nitin (15).
Their bodies were shifted to the Government hospital for autopsy.
Some tourists on the bus had a providential escape with minor scratches.
The condition of some of the injured was said to be serious.
All the occupants in the ill-fated bus were removed as teams conducted relief and rescue operations with the help of special high mast lights.
The senior district officials and police officials visited the spot and monitored the relief and rescue operations.
At least 60 special beds were readied in the Coimbatore Hospital and a special ward was also readied as the process of shifting the injured after a nearly 40 km long travel, had started.
Chief Minister MK Stalin condoled the deaths and announced a solatium of Rs two lakh each to the families of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh each to those who sustained serious injuries, and Rs 50,000 each to those who suffered simple injuries.
Stalin also deputed Tourism Minister K. Ramachandran to the spot to monitor the rescue and relief operations and directed the hospital authorities to provide the best treatment to the injured.
The assistance will be provided from the Chief Minister's Public Relief fund.
Meanwhile, a free helpline has been opened for the benefit of the family members of the victims.
Traffic on the busy route, which was quite heavy due to the weekend, was diverted to other routes.