The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Family tryst with fate on home run

Hooghly, March 2: Three members of a family were among four dead when the Ambassador in which they were travelling collided head on with a truck at Singur on Durgapur Expressway this morning.

Police said the car headed for Burdwan from Bangur Avenue in Calcutta was travelling at a high speed when the driver lost control on seeing the truck speeding towards it. Two men from the family sustained severe injuries.

Local youths and passing vehicles lent the first hands in the rescue operation. They broke open the windows to pull out the victims one at a time and rushed them to the Singur healthcentre. They were shifted to the Srirampur Walsh Hospital from there.

Witnesses said the truck was laden with scrap iron and its driver rammed into the Ambassador while trying to overtake another vehicle.

Sub-divisional police officer of Chandernagore Asesh Biswas said the driver of the car, Mangru Shaw, was among the dead. His head was squashed and was barely recognisable.

The other victims were identified as Kamala Mitra, 80, her daughter Jharna, 42, and Sachin Mitra, 46. All three had sustained severe injuries on their heads. The two injured — Kamala’s husband Chandrasekhar and Jharna’s husband Sadhan Mitra — were said to be in critical condition at the Walsh hospital.

A relative of the Mitras, Bhaskar Ghosh, rushed to Singur on receiving the news. But when he arrived, the bodies had been shifted. “I am still stunned. I can’t say anything,” was his first response at the hospital.

On regaining some of the composure, he said the Mitras had left Calcutta very early for their ancestral home at Jubila village in Burdwan. “I don’t know what I’ll tell our relatives at home.”

“We have impounded the truck. The driver and the helper, however, managed to escape. We are looking for them,” said Biswas.

A huge crowd gathered on the accident site, where the pulp of what was a car lay lifeless on the blood-splattered expressway.

Lying in the hospital bed, Sadhan recollected the horror. “I remember asking my driver to slow down. Within seconds, I saw the truck crash into our car. All I remember after that is someone trying to pull me out of the debris,” he said.

In the past year, more than 100 people have died in mishaps on the Durgapur Expressway. Residents said most of them could be avoided if the police had taken action against rash driving.

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