It was a tragic end to wedding celebrations for a family from Kerala, when a fatal road accident claimed the lives of seven of the 11-member family.
According to the police, the family were on their way back from Velankanni to Kasargod when the mishap occurred near Karur in Tamil Nadu. The car in which the family was travelling collided with a lorry at around 7 am on Saturday.
The deceased include Harold Monteiro (50), his wife Prasilla (42), son Rohit D'Souza (22), Harold's brother Suthorine (35), Suthorine's 5-year-old daughter Sharona, Harold's younger brother Alwyn (29) and Harold's brother Dennis' wife Reema (37). The family hails from Kayyar in Kasargod district.
Suthorine's wife Jeshma (26) and one-and-a-half-year-old daughter Shanvi, and Alwyn's wife Preema have been critically injured. Harold's second son, Sharone, suffered minor injuries, the police said.
Alwyn and Preema reportedly got married recently, on May 2. Harold's family, settled in Maharashtra, had come down to Kerala for the wedding. Following the wedding, the family decided to visit the church in Velankanni.
According to the police, Harold was driving the car at the time of the accident. It is suspected that he may have fallen asleep at the wheel, leading to the accident.
The mortal remains of the deceased were brought to Kayyar on Sunday, and they are expected to be cremated on Monday. Jeshma, Shanvi and Preema are currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Mangaluru.
Earlier on Saturday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had expressed his condolences on Facebook. He wrote,
"The state government has done whatever is necessary to bring the bodies back to Kerala at the earliest. Instructions have been given to send an ambulance and give medical care to those injured. Kerala police is following up on the matter with the police and state government in Tamil Nadu."