Nine school children and their teacher drowned while 11 others were rescued after their school van plunged into a temple tank at nearby Kathiripulam village in Vedaranyam block on Thursday.
The mishap took place when the van of a private school carrying 20 children and a teacher went out of control and plunged into the Kamakshi Amman temple tank at Kariapattinam Villigam village, police said.
Vedranayam and surrounding areas have been experiencing heavy rains for the past few days.
Police, fire and rescue service personnel rushed to the spot and rescued 11 children and later recovered the bodies of the nine children and the teacher. The bodies of the children have been handed over to their parents, police said.
The injured children have been admitted to the Vedaranyam general hospital and other private hospitals.
More than 10 motors are being used to pump out water from the pond.
The driver of the van is stated to be absconding.
A pall of gloom descended on Vedaranyam and surrounding areas following the mishap.