Palakkad: The driver of the tourist bus that rammed into the KSRTC bus in Vadakkencherry has gone missing.
It is learnt that Jomon, who drove the ill-fated bus, was seen at the accident site but later went missing. Jomon's name is not among those admitted to the hospital. The bus belongs to Kottayam native.
The preliminary investigation report said speeding led to the accident. As per GPS data, the tourist bus was traveling at a speed of 97.7 kmph at the time of the accident. Palakkad Enforcement RTO has handed over the report to the Transport Commissioner.
The students also said that the tourist bus was speeding from the start of the journey. KSRTC driver Sumesh too testified that the tourist bus was speeding when it rear-ended the bus.
The accident occurred when the tourist bus carrying 42 students and five teachers from Mar Baselius Vidyaniketan School, Mulanturutti in Ernakulam, to Ooty hit a KSRTC bus and overturned into the swamp. Nine people, including five children, a teacher and three KSRTC passengers, died in the accident. A total of 60 people were injured. Four people are in critical condition.
State Revenue Minister K Rajan announced that the government would provide compensation to the accident victims. The decision would be taken in consultation with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, he said while speaking to the media in Thiruvananthapuram. He said action would be taken to prevent such accidents in future.