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15 killed in twin mishaps

Feb. 4: Fifteen people were killed and 32 injured in two separate road accidents in Murshidabad and Birbhum districts today.

A truck loaded with stone chips and carrying about 15 to 20 men toppled into a canal flowing under the Bansloi railway bridge in Birbhum’s Murarai police station area around 3.30 pm after the driver lost control.

Police said the men, who were sitting on the pile of stone chips, were buried under the truck.

Birbhum superintendent of police A. Roy said eight bodies were recovered after digging into the pile of stone chips with the help of villagers. Later, a submersible pump was deployed to drain out the water to help drag out the truck and look for more victims.

The accident occurred close to the north signal cabin of the Murarai railway station.

Police sources said most of those killed were cattle traders who had hitched a ride on the ill-fated vehicle.

Eight men injured in the mishap have been admitted to Rampurhat sub-divisional hospital, where the condition of some of them is stated to be serious.

Six of the dead have been identified as Nizam Sheikh, Salaam Sheikh, Lijam Sheikh, Sariful Sheikh, Berajul Islam, Latiful Sheikh, Ziaul Islam and Sebkil Sheikh.

The other accident occurred in Murshidabad district soon after midnight, killing seven persons.

A bus on its way to Birbhum’s Tarapith temple hit a tree and overturned in the Daulatabad police station area, about 20 km from Behrampore.

Among the 24 injured, 21 have been admitted to Behrampore general hospital while the rest were taken to Calcutta for treatment.

The Murshidabad district superintendent of police said the bus had been hired by a group of traders belonging to Karimpur in Nadia district. “It was around 12.30 am when the driver of the bus lost control and the vehicle dashed against a tree. Then it slid on its side and fell into a roadside ditch beside the Karimpur-Behrampore state highway.”

The police said the driver of the bus, who fled the scene, had dozed off and lost control.

Traders in Karimpur today downed shutters as a mark of respect for the victims.

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