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Residents turn their ire against oil firm

22 December 2010

Special Correspondent
The Hindu

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About 200 residents squatted on Cuddalore-Chidambaram road

They demanded due compensation to families of the deceased and injured

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CUDDALORE: Residents of Thiruchopuram and Nanjalingampettai on Tuesday turned their ire against a private oil company by holding it responsible for the death of four girl students in the road accident that occurred at Semmanguppam near here on Monday.

About 200 residents squatted on Cuddalore-Chidambaram road at Semmanguppam, blocking the traffic for about an hour in the morning. They urged the oil company to give due compensation to the families of the deceased and injured students.

They also impounded three vehicles carrying employees of the company and refused to let go until the company apologised to the villagers for the accident and come out with due compensation package.

Meanwhile, a section of them went to Periakuppam (where the oil company is located) to voice their protest.

When the security personnel did not allow them inside, they pelted stones and damaged glass panes.

They also broke the windscreen of an ambulance parked on the company premises. A spokesperson of the residents said that it was due to the recklessness of the driver of the vehicle contracted by the company that the accident took place, killing the four and injuring 31 others.

The spokesperson alleged that even though the company knew fully well that it was one of the vehicles engaged by the company that caused the accident, the company did not take any efforts to arrange for ambulances to take the injured to the hospital.

It was the local people and the passers-by who took the injured in a private bus to the hospital. The company management remained indifferent to the tragedy and never expressed condolence to the bereaved families nor did it send any of its representatives to the government hospital to enquire about the condition of the injured, the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, Revenue Divisional Officer Murugesan and Deputy Superintendent of Police Pandian reached the spot and held talks with the protestors to assuage their feelings.

The company sources said that none of the vehicles owned by the company was involved in the accident.

It was the vehicle hired by a sub-contractor of the company that met with the accident while transporting the employees of the former to the company premises.

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