17, including 10 of same family, killed as vehicle collides with truck
Kolkata: In a tragic incident, 17 people, including six women and a six-year-old girl were killed when a truck, in which the victims were taking a body for cremation, collided head-on with a stone-laden truck at Hanskhali in Nadia early on Sunday morning.
Six others suffered critical injuries and are undergoing treatment at a local hospital. The most tragic part of the accident is that it claimed the lives of 10 people of the same family.
Though the police are yet to ascertain the exact reason behind the accident, the investigating officers suspect that the driver of the victims' truck had fallen asleep as a result of which the truck went to the wrong lane.
Expressing her deepest condolences, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee assured that her government will extend every necessary assistance and support to the kin of the victims.
"Heartbroken to hear about the road accident in Nadia. I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and pray for the speedy recovery of those who were injured. May God give them the strength to get past this difficult time. The Government of West Bengal will extend every necessary assistance and support to the kin of the victims. We are beside you in this sad hour," Banerjee tweeted.
The Prime Minister, taking to Twitter, said: "Extremely pained by the loss of lives due to a road accident in Nadia, West Bengal. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest."
Union Home minister Amit Shah also expressed his grief over the incident and prayed for fast recovery of the injured persons.
"Deeply pained at the reported death of 18 people and 5 others injured in Nadia District after the vehicle they were travelling in collided with a truck parked on the side of road. Expect all efforts @MamataOfficial to the family of deceased and injured. Need to promote Road Safety," Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar tweeted.
Police said that a group of people were going to Nabadwip crematorium from Bagda in North 24-Parganas to cremate a body in a truck which collided head on with another truck coming from the opposite direction.
According to a senior police officer, the accident took place at around 1.45 am on Sunday near Phoolbaari area in Hanskhali.
On Saturday, Srabani Muhuri of Parmadan area of Bagda in North 24 Parganas died due to various ailments. Her family members and neighbours set out from their house late at night only for Nabadwip crematorium for Muhuri's last rites.
All of a sudden, their truck carrying the body collided with a stone chips-laden truck that was going towards Bagda.
Hearing their cries for help, local people came out of their houses and initiated the rescue work. Police reached the spot and took the victims to Krishnanagar District Hospital where 17 persons were declared brought dead. Muhuri's body was taken to the hospital as well.
Additional Superintendent of Police, Ranaghat, Rupantar Sengupta said: "As the incident took place late at night, there are no eyewitnesses to it. Preliminary inquiry suggests that the driver of the truck carrying the body might have fallen asleep and came onto the wrong lane and collided with the truck coming from the opposite direction. So far 17 people have died in the accident."
The state Forest minister visited the hospital in Nadia. He spoke to the bereaved family members and handed over cheques of Rs 2 lakh each to two families.