Six pilgrims including four women travelling in a van were killed in a road accident near Sattur in Virudhunagar district on Sunday. The victims were from Madhankovilpatti near Sivakasi.
The accident took place while they were returning to their native place from Irukkankudi Mariamman temple. Kannan, the van driver lost control of the vehicle, resulting in the accident. The vehicle ran off the road and capsized in a vacant land, killing five of them on the spot.
Police said that around 22 persons were travelling in the ill-fated maxi cab van. At least 15 more pilgrims were injured and were taken to Sattur Government hospital. Two of them were badly injured and were referred to a tertiary care centre.
Police said the villagers went to a temple for ear piercing ceremony organised by Kongaiah, 45, from Madhankovilpatti. After the function, they left the temple by noon. The driver lost control at Ramachandrapuram in Sattur-Thayilpatti road.Sattur town police rushed to the spot based on an alert and rescued the injured persons. The dead bodies were shifted to a government hospital. As the van plunged into a trench the passengers piled over one another. Kannan managed to escape from the spot.
Virudhunagar district superintendent of police M Rajarajan visited the spot and conducted an inquiry.
The police were yet to ascertain the cause of the accident. They said that they have been looking out for the driver for more information. Based on a complaint, a case was registered with Sattur town police station.
Pechiammal, 50, Manikandan, 34, Kuruvammal,65, Amudha, 35 and Pothaiah, 65 were killed on the spot, whereas Gurulakshmi, 18, died in the hospital not responding to the treatment. At least 15 more people including children identified as Murugalakshmi,9, Manoj, 6, Abishek, 11 and Gangadevi, 16 were injured in the incident.