Udhagamandalam, Sep 30 (IANS): Eight tourists were killed and more than 40 others injured when the bus they were travelling in fell in a gorge on Ooty-Mettupalayam ghat road in Tamil Nadu on Saturday evening, police said.
The accident occurred near the 9th hairpin bend near Marapalam when a bus with 57 tourists was on its way to Mettupalayam in Coimbatore district, police said. Tragedy struck the tourists from Thenkasi when they were returning from Ooty in the evening after a day-long visit to various tourist places.
The driver lost control over the vehicle and as a result, it plunged into a 50-feet gorge.
Police and fire fighting personnel launched the rescue operation and rescued the passengers.
The injured were shifted to Conoor Government Lawley Hospital, where eight of them were declared dead by doctors. The dead include three women.
The deceased were identified as V. Nithin, 15, S. Murugesan, 65, S. Babykala, 36, Devikala, 42, Jaya, 50, Thangam, 64, R. Kowsalya, 29, and P. Muppidathy, 67.
The injured were under treatment and the condition of four of them is stated to be critical.
A group of 57 tourists from Thenkasi had come to Ooty on a day-long visit and after visiting various tourist places, they were returning in the evening. According to police the weather condition in the region was very bad due to incessant rains and the roads were slippery. Visibility was also bad due to fog. Police suspect the driver lost control of the vehicle due to brake failure.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M K Stalin has condoled the death of tourists. He directed Tourism Minister K. Ramachandran to monitor the rescue operation and ensure best possible treatment for the injured.