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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Killer tracks take a toll
- Tram rams into auto caught in road rut, aged woman dies

An elderly woman was killed after she and two other bystanders were sandwiched between a shop and and two vehicles ' an empty autorickshaw and a goods carrier. The vehicles were being dragged by a tram that had smashed into them earlier.

The auto was stuck in the depressed tram tracks of Rabindra Sarani, around 7.45 am on Sunday, near the intersection with BK Pal Avenue.

As the driver of the three-wheeler frantically tried to extricate it, a tram coming from the opposite direction smashed into it, and dragged it along. Then the three-wheeler struck a Tata 407.

'Three persons suffered injuries in the accident, and one of them, Parvati Devi, aged around 60 years and a resident of BK Pal Avenue, succumbed to her injuries on the way to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital,' said A.K. Sharma, deputy commissioner (traffic). The auto driver fled, but Jorabagan police impounded the three-wheeler.

The empty auto had almost swerved past the tram when one of its rear wheels got stuck in the depressed track. The tram rammed into its side and dragged it along. The autorickshaw then hit a Tata 407 parked in front of a grocery shop and crumpled up like a matchbox.

Two women and a man, all aged above 50, standing in front of the shop, were pinned to the counter, even as a portion of the shop was wrenched away by the four-wheeler. While the other two got away with scrapes and bruises, Parvati Devi's torso was crushed.

'The depressed tram tracks have been a longstanding problem in our area,' said an officer attached with the Jorabagan Traffic Guard. 'The potholes on the roads get bigger whenever it rains because of the depressed tracks, and traffic flow becomes very slow. The three-wheelers are most prone to accidents, since their small wheels tend to get stuck in the ruts caused by the depressed tracks,' he added.

Parvati Devi, a heart patient, had left home with a fever in the morning to buy cooking oil and flour. That was the last time her daughter Ritu Pandey saw her alive.

'Some local youths came at 8 am and informed me that my mother had been involved in an accident,' sobbed 19-year-old Ritu, a first-year collegian. 'I rushed to the hospital, but I couldn't do much. My mother's body had swollen up so badly that I couldn't recognise her at first,' she added.

In an almost similar accident on March 22, Asok Kumar Dasgupta, 61, a retired college teacher, was crushed by a tram after he tripped and fell on the tracks at Mudiali, on SP Mukherjee Road.

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