London: Three employees of IT giant Wipro were among the eight persons killed in a deadly accident on a highway in southern England in which a mini bus got crushed between two trucks. Two lorry drivers have been charged with causing death by dangerous driving.
Three passengers, including a five-year-old girl, are fighting for their lives. The bus was carrying a group of 11 passengers who were being driven to London to catch a coach which was to take them on a last minute holiday in France.
Three of the six men and two women who lost their lives in the pile-up have now been named Indian nationals who were working for Nottingham firm Capital One. A spokesman for Wipro, the agency which had arranged the contracts, said, "It is with deep regret and sadness that we confirm the passing away of three of our colleagues, Karthikeyan Ramasubramaniyam Pugalur, Rishi Rajeev Kumar, and Vivek Bhaskaran in a tragic road accident in the UK."
Another employee, Mano Ranjan Panneerselvam, is one of those critically injured in hospital along with the five- year-old girl who is understood to be the daughter of one of the other passengers.
His relatives say that the other women who were hospitalized are Mr Panneerselvam's wife and mother, whilst three of his family members are understood to be among the dead. Cyriac Joseph, the driver of the mini bus from Kerala, was among those who lost their lives in the accident.
He had been hired to take the group from Nottingham to London when the crash happened near Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Brett Smith, who witnessed the scene in a taxi before the emergency services arrived and stopped to help the little girl, said, "A family has been destroyed. I held a little girl by her arms, trapped inside a vehicle, for a good hour or so with the emergency services and the fire service trying to help."
Chief Inspector Henry Parsons, from the Joint Operations Unit for Roads Policing at Thames Valley Police, said, "Some of those involved were visiting the UK from India and we are working to keep families abroad informed."