Kochi, Mar 28: Seven Congress workers were killed and more than 30 injured, when a lorry ran over them at the party rally at Pothanikkad near Kothamangalam in Ernakulam District. The injured have been admitted to various hospitals at Kothamangalam.
According to police sources, the mishap happened when the lorry driver lost control of his vehicle and rammed from one side of the road into the crowd where hundreds of congress workers had gathered to start the rally around 5.30 pm on Thursday. The driver of the lorry has been taken into the custody after the mishap. “When the congress rally of the local area committee was about to start, a truck rammed the party workers from a nearby pocket road. We all rushed to the place and saw few crushed and lying under the lorry", said Ashok Kumar, an eyewitness.
Top officials of the district administration and police rushed to the spot and took the situation under control. District Collector A.P.M. Mohammed Hannish said six bodies of the victims have been identified so far. Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has asked the Collector to submit a report on the accident immediately. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Ramesh Chennithala has demanded an inquiry into the accident.
According to Congress party sources, many leaders including Ernakulam District Congress Committee President V.J. Poulose and MLA V.D. Satheesan were on their way to Pothanikkad to address the party constituency rally, in which over 200 workers were participating.