Wednesday, May 19, 2010

VSSC scientist couple killed in road accident

Thiruvananthapuram: A husband and wife, both senior scientists of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) here, were killed when the car in which they were travelling collided with a mini-lorry on the National Highway near the Asan Memorial at Thonnakkal here on Wednesday afternoon.

The police identified the deceased as Dr. V.R. Ravindran, Head, Non Destructive Testing and Analytical division of the Rocket Propellant Plant, and his wife, Dr. Sudha, scientist in the ITM (Ionosphere, Thermosphere, Magnetosphere) branch of the Space Physics Laboratory.

The couple were driving down from Kozhikode after attending the funeral rites of Dr. Sudhas mother. Dr. Ravindran, a reputed scientist in his field of work, is a resident of Cherai in Ernakulam.

The police said the Hyundai Santro car collided head on with a mini lorry bearing Tamil Nadu registration number at around 2.45 p.m.

The lorry driver, Veerabhadran, a native of Tamil Nadu, has been admitted to the Medical College Hospital with minor injuries. The police have booked him on the charge of rash and negligent driving and man slaughter.

An official said as it was raining in the afternoon, visibility was bad and the road was slippery near the accident site. The police were also investigating whether driver fatigue had caused the accident. The couple showed signs of life when the police and local people extricated them out of their mangled car. The police said the couple died while being taken to the Medical College Hospital. The couple were living in Nikunjam apartments near Kannanmoola. Their daughter Reshmi survives them. She recently completed her bachelors degree in architectural engineering from the Regional Engineering College, Thrissur.

The bodies will be handed over to relatives after post-mortem examination on Thursday.

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