Eight persons were killed and 23 others injured when a bus in which they were travelling turned turtle after hitting a road side tree on Tamajuri Road at Belpahari in West Midnapore Thursday morning.
Police said that the accident occurred when the victims were returning after attending a marriage party. Manoj Hansda, who witnessed the incident, told the police that the bus was travelling at a high speed and was trying to overtake a Bolero. The speeding car was not giving passage to the bus to go ahead. The driver of the bus could not control the vehicle while overtaking the car forcefully and hit the roadside tree, after which the bus turned over.
Local people rushed to the spot and initiated rescue work. Later, the police joined the local people. As it was difficult to drag the passengers out of the bus, electric cutters were used to cut open a portion of the bus and the passengers were extricated. All the passengers were rushed to a nearby hospital, where Buddheswar Baske, Lakshmiram Murmu, Suraj Mandi, Sahereswar Mandi, Sideswar Mandi, Ananda Hansda, Sanjib Hansda and 15-year-old Nirvin Hansda were declared brought dead. 23 people, including some women and children, are still fighting for their lives in the hospital.
Some of the injured persons told the police that the driver, who was also killed, was driving the bus at a high speed, despite being repeatedly asked to slow it down.