The victims were primarily those who travelled on the footboard
Six persons were killed and 16 others injured when a mini-truck hit a State Transport Corporation bus on the National Highway 47 at Chithode in Erode district on Sunday afternoon.
The bus was proceeding from Coimbatore to Salem. After a halt at Chithode town, the bus was re-entering the highway from a service road when it hit the mini-truck. the bus overturned, crushing five persons to death.
Three of the deceased were identified as Govindaraj (20) of Karumanthurai in Salem district, Sankar (49) of Harur in Dharmapuri district and Dharman (20) of Annur.
Eyewitnesses said the bus was overloaded with passengers who were heading home to celebrate the Pongal. The victims were primarily those who travelled on the footboard.
The driver drove the vehicle carelessly and entered into the highway without noticing the mini-truck, A. Selvi, a passenger of the bus, claimed. The injured have been admitted to various hospitals. Traffic on the highway was disrupted for more than an hour, the police said.