Nine persons, including 3 women, were killed in a fatal bus accident on Thursday afternoon when a Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation bus toppled down into a deep valley on the Ooty-Coonoor highway. Apart from the casualties, 28 others have suffered injuries from the accident and have been admitted to hospitals in Ooty and Coimbatore.
"The bus had been going from Ooty to Coimbatore. Around 12:30 pm on Thursday, we got information that the bus had toppled. According to one of the survivors, the bus had been going only at 40 km/hour but the driver had attempted to overtake another vehicle on a plane road (not a curve or hairpin bend). While attempting to do this he swerved to the right and the bus slipped from the road and fell into the valley," said Coonoor SP Shanmugapriya.
The bus had reportedly been carrying 40 persons and had toppled 4 times.
"The fourth time the bus, rolled the top off the bus came off resulting in people getting inured," the SP confirmed.
The deceased were identified as Dharman (64) hailing from Belithala village near Ooty, Santhakumari (55), Nandhakumar (36) and Almas (29) from Ooty, Jayashree (45) from Bengaluru, Dinesh (30) from Coonoor, Prabhakaran (50) from Kolakambai. Bus driver Rajkumar (38) sustained minor injuries.
Two others including bus conductor Prakash (35), Sikkaraj from Theetukal in Ooty succumbed to their injuries on Friday.
Out of the 28 persons who have been injured, 5 or 6 of them have sustained head injuries and are in a critical condition.
"The police immediately rushed to the site and rescued victims with the help of locals. Additionally, the fire department and the SDRF (disaster management force) came to our aid quickly. Out of the 28 injured, 19 have been admitted to a government hospital in Coimbatore while 9 are in the Ooty General Hospital," she added.
The SP confirmed that a police case will be registered against the driver, who has not sustained grave injuries.