TIRUNELVELI: In an extremely tragic road mishap, at least five pilgrims including two women from Andhra Pradesh were killed near here while they were on their way to the southernmost tip of Kanyakumari in the wee hours of Saturday.
A group of 51 persons from Tenali in Guntur district of Andra Pradesh were on a spiritual tour to Tamil Nadu. They started from Tenali on September 14, and the devotees visited Sri Kalahasthi, Palani and from there were on their way to Kanyakumari when the unfortunate mishap happened, police said.
At around 4.30 am on Saturday, the driver of the tourist bus stopped the vehicle by the roadside at Jothipuram on the Tirunelveli-Kanyakumari national highway for tourists to refresh themselves.
As it was early morning with low visibility on a rain-drenched day, a speeding cement laden lorry bound for Marthandum from Dindigul rammed into the parked tourist bus from behind.
Under its impact, four devotees — Nagavarthini (45) wife of Harekrishna of Ananthapuram, Nagarathinam (55) wife of one Narasimha Rao, a pharmacist, Venkatrama Rao (63), son of Kishnamurthy, and Ram Mohan Rao (68) son of Narasimha Rao, all from Guntur — standing behind the bus were crushed to death on the spot.
On information, the assistant commissioner of Tirunelveli city traffic investigation wing, Sundararajan along with the Melapalayam police rushed to the spot and investigated. The police have also arrested the driver, Rasool Raja, 42 and son of Noor Muhammed of Kovilpatti, of the cement-laden lorry that caused the accident....