Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala on Friday bid a tearful adieu to the victims of the ghastly road mishap involving state-run KSRTC bus and a container lorry in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
The bodies of all the 19 passengers killed in the mishap on Thursday had been brought to the state after post-mortem and 15 of them laid to rest, state Transport Minister A K Saseendran said.
Nineteen passengers were killed and 27 injured when a tile-laden container lorry crossed into a wrong lane and rammed into the oncoming Ernakulam-bound Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus on the Salem-Kochi highway at Avinashi, 40 km from Coimbatore, around 4am.
Saseendran said the government arranged for ambulances to bring the bodies of the victims to their hometowns.
Crime Branch Police ADGP Tomin Thachankary, a former Managing Director of KSRTC, visited the family of Gireesh, the driver of the ill-fated bus.
"It's a very sad day. I had honoured both Gireesh and Baiju (conductor) for their selfless services in the past. They were an asset to KSRTC. This is a great loss to their family and to KSRTC," Thachankary told reporters.
Girish and Baiju were honoured by the KSRTC management for assisting a woman passenger who took ill during a trip to Bengaluru from Ernakulam in June, 2018.
The then KSRTC Managing Director Thachankary had issued a letter to both commending them for taking care of the ailing passenger.
Meanwhile, the Motor Vehicles Department of Kerala said a report based on its inquiry into the accident will be submitted on Saturday to the state government by the Palakkad Enforcement Regional Transport Officer Shivakumar.
The officer said the accident occurred as the driver of the lorry dozed off.
"The vehicle ran over the road divider resulting in tyre burst and we have found markings on the divider... It seems like the tyre burst after it ran over the divider. The investigation is done by Tamil Nadu government," Shivkumar told reporters.
(With inputs from PTI)