Pudukottai (Tamil Nadu), Dec 30 (UNI)- In a gruesome tragedy, five devotees including a woman were killed on the spot and nineteen others including a child were injured, four of them grievously when as cement-laden truck moving at a high speed rammed into a roadside tea shop and dashed against two stationary vans, a sports utility vehicle (SUV) and two-wheelers at Namanasamudram village on the Tiruchirappalli-Rameswaram highway here during the wee hours of Saturday.

Police said the deceased were identified as Jagannathan (60), S.Shanthi (49), J.Suresh (39), R.Gokulakrishnan and S.Sathish (25), hailing from Chennai and Tiruvallur districts.

The driver of truck, Manikandan (39) ferrying cement bags from Ariyalur to Sivaganga, moving at very high speed, lost control in which the vehicle rammed into the tea shop and then two vans, a SUV and two wheelers parked near the shop.

The dead were having tea at the tea shop, while the injured were sitting inside the two vans and SUV.
The devotees were proceeding to Sabarimala and Rameswaram on a pilgrimage, when the accident occurred.

The injured were admitted to Pudukottai Government Medical College Hospital, where the condition of four persons was stated to be critical. Further investigations were on.

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