The deceased have been identified as Petchiammal (33), wife of Selvan, Manapadai Veedu, Ambedkar Nagar, Eswari (27), wife of Sudalai, Malaiazhagu (48), wife of Ganesan, Petchiammal (54), wife of Manoharan and Gomathi (65) wife of Velu. They succumbed to injuries on the spot, sources said.
Thoothukudi Superintendent of Police S Jeyakumar after inspecting the accident site said the driver of the speeding vehicle lost control while turning and subsequently the vehicle fell into a small creek along the rural road in Maniyachi.
The vehicle carrying 35 women workers, who were mostly from the neighbouring Tirunelveli, skidded off the road and overturned. The creek bed had about two feet of water. It was a stampede death as all the victims were trapped in the creek. It could not have had any fatality, if the vehicle had overturned on the plains. However, the injured people are out of danger, the SP added.
Maniyachi Inspector of Police Pattani said 24 injured victims were admitted to Tirunelveli Government Medical College Hospital and six other victims at Thoothukudi Government Medical College Hospital. Based on a complaint, a case has been filed under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 304 (A) of IPC.
The vehicle driver, Chithirai Pandi has been arrested, the Inspector added.