Nine people, including five students, were killed after a private bus collided with a state-run Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus at Vadakkencherry in Palakkad district, Kerala Road Transport Minister Antony Raju said on Thursday.
The accident occurred at around 11:30 PM on Wednesday when the speeding private bus, attempting to overtake a car, had hit the rear end of the KSRTC bus, the minister said. He further added that both the buses went off the road as a result. “Nine persons, including five students and a teacher, were killed in the accident,” the minister said, reported PTI.
The KSRTC bus, carrying 81 passengers, was going from Kottarakkara in Kerala to Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, and three died in the accident. The private bus was carrying 42 students and 5 teachers of Baselios Vidyanikethan Senior Secondary School in Ernakulam, who were on a pleasure trip, Raju said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief on the loss of lives due to an accident in Kerala’s Palakkad district, and announced Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF to the next of kin of each deceased. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000, a tweet from the Prime Minister’s Office read.
State Local Self Government Minister M B Rajesh, who visited those hospitalised in a Palakkad hospital said that the condition of four persons was serious, while the rest were fine.
State revenue minister K Rajan said that an investigation will be undertaken to ascertain how and why the accident took place, adding strict safety measures must be in place to prevent accidents in the future.
Rajan further said a cabinet meeting will be held to consider providing compensation to the families and counselling may be provided to the students who lost close friends and a teacher in the tragic incident.
Police said around 40 were injured in the accident.