Nineteen people, including six women, were killed when a Kerala state government bus collided head-on with a container lorry near Tamil Nadu's Avanashi town in Tirupur district, 40 kms from in Coimbatore, on Thursday, officials said.
The bus was going to Thiruvananthapuram from Bengaluru, while the lorry was coming from the opposite direction on the Coimbator-Salem Highway when the mishap occurred at 4.30 am, police said Of the 48 passengers in the bus, 19 died on the spot and remaining sustained injuries.
The Kerala government-run Volvo bus that can seat over 50 people was going to Ernakulam from Bengaluru in Karnataka, state Transport Minister AK Saseendran said.
The cops said the number of dead is likely to rise.
The driver of the truck that was coming from Coimbatore is on the run, police said.
"All possible relief measures will be taken in cooperation with the government of Tamil Nadu and the District Collector of Tirupur," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's office said.