Wednesday, Jul 23, 2003
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By S. Ganesan
The Southern Railway General Manager, V. Anand, was travelling by the train. He was on his way to Erode from Dindigul after an inspection when the accident took place at about 4.50 p.m. between the Karur and Velliyanai stations.
The van, belonging to the Andavar Matriculation School at Thanthonimalai, near Karur, was carrying about 15 children, and had already dropped five of them home en route.
The vehicle was caught on the middle of the track when the approaching train hit it. The van driver, who had apparently misjudged the distance, abandoned the vehicle and was reported to have fled the scene, even as the children and nearby residents raised an alarm.
The van was thrown off the track some distance away and reduced to pieces. School bags, chappals and tiffin boxes lay strewn around the spot.
Madhu (10), son of Srinivasan of Manavadi, and Kanthakumar (12), son of Nainarsamy of Karaithottam, were killed on the spot. Karthika (4), daughter of Krishnan of Vengukalpatti, and Abinaya (7), daughter of Saravanan of Kallumadai, died of injuries at the Karur Government Hospital. Kandasamy (55) of Thanthonimalai, van attendant, also died at the hospital.
Kanimozhi (7), daughter of Krishnan of Vengukalpatti; Anitha (6), daughter of Chinnasamy of Marudapatti; Arthi (4), daughter of Chinnasamy of Marudapatti; and Arun (4), son of Sivasamy of Jagadapi, sustained grievous injuries and have been admitted to the Karur GH and a private hospital.
Mr. Anand supervised the relief operations and also visited the GH. The Collector, P. Annamalai, also visited the spot and the hospitals.
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