The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mishaps on high roads
- Speeding college boy, friend die in motorcycle skid on ill-lit bridge

The ill-lit and incomplete Bondel Gate bridge claimed two young lives on Monday night, within two weeks of its inauguration, while a pile-up in broad daylight on Tuesday afternoon left five people seriously injured on Vidyasagar Setu.

Debabrata Yamben, 24, a student of St Xavier's College, and Maumau Akoizam, 23, employed with a private firm in Salt Lake, were killed in a motorcycle crash on the high road that is still half-done.

Neither was wearing a helmet and both youths, hailing from Manipur and staying in a rented flat at 69, Palm Avenue, suffered fatal head injuries as the two-wheeler 'hit something on the surface' and skidded.

It was around 11.50 pm when Debabrata and Maumau were on their way to a friend's birthday party in Picnic Garden. Speeding despite the darkness, Debabrata lost control of the motorcycle after probably hitting a rough patch and the two were flung against the railings.

Maumau died on the spot while Debabrata lay bleeding. After about half-an-hour, an auto driver spotted the two in the darkness and alerted some locals. They were rushed to a nearby nursing home and later to AMRI, Dhakuria, where Debabrata succumbed to his injuries.

'The mishap could have been averted if there were proper lighting arrangements on the bridge,' said an officer of Gariahat police station.

The 560-m high road connecting Rifle Range Road and Picnic Garden has only five halogen lamps fixed on bamboo poles, with electrical wiring dangling on both sides of the Rs 36-crore bridge.

Visibility was not an issue on Vidyasagar Setu, as it witnessed a pile-up caused by a South Bengal State Transport Corporation bus losing control at the toll plaza on Tuesday afternoon.

The bus smashed into a Santro, then an Indica, and finally hit two taxis, at the approach to gate number 5, at 1.10 pm. Five people ' two in the Santro and three in the Indica ' were admitted to SSKM Hospital. The condition of three of the injured was critical, hospital authorities said late on Tuesday.

Traffic on the Setu was thrown out of gear for over 50 minutes. 'The brakes of the bus, travelling from BBD Bag to Santragachhi, appear to have failed and the driver could not control the vehicle. The bus has been sent for a mechanical test,' said Howrah's additional superintendent of police (town) Kalyan Banerjee.

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