In a tragic incident, five people were killed in a road accident on Basanti Highway near Bojherhat in South 24-Parganas on Saturday night when a truck rammed into a tea stall after hitting two other vehicles. Driver of the truck was arrested on Sunday morning.
According to information, the truck driver attempted to flee with the vehicle after hitting another vehicle near Bojherhat. The driver failed to control the truck after accelerating the vehicle to escape from the area. It collided with an auto-rickshaw and finally rammed into a road side tea stall.
Apart from the tea stall owner, several other people of the nearby village were present when the incident took place.
Primarily local people initiated the rescue work. Later police reached the spot and joined them.
The local residents faced trouble in rescuing those who were stuck inside the tea stall as the front portion of the truck was almost inside it.
Later, police engaged a crane and brought the truck out of the stall. Three persons including the owner were found inside the stall when the truck was removed.
They were immediately rushed to the hospital. Twelve others were taken to the hospital before. Later five people including Sadek Mollah, Iyad Ali Mollah, Niranjan Ghosh and Dulal Mondal succumbed to their injuries.
Seven were treated and discharged while three are still fighting for their lives at Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital.
Driver of the truck had, however, managed to escape soon after the accident. The driver, identified as Raju, was arrested from near his residence at Bhangar. He has been remanded in police custody for 3 days after being produced before the court.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the driver was in an inebriated state and the incident took place as he had flouted all traffic norms.
Police came to know after speaking to a person, who had witnessed the incident, that the driver often used to pass the area with his truck and he had even stopped quite a few times to have tea at the same stall.
“The driver should be punished. He killed five people. He had not even bothered to slow down the vehicle while taking a turn,” said Pratima Naskar, a local resident.
Police pickets have been posted on the spot to maintain the traffic movement. Senior police officers had also visited the spot. An officer said that widening of the road was essential to avoid accidents.
Mayor Sovan Chatterjee had visited the spot on Saturday night and assured all help to the victim’s family members.
It may be mentioned that a stretch of the highway from Parama Island is under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Police.
The road is too narrow compared to that of the traffic load on it, said a police officer, adding that meetings with the proposal of widening of road had taken place and it was expected that some steps will be taken in this regard soon.