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36 injured in bus-truck collision

Raiganj, Feb. 24: A collision between a bus and a truck on National Highway 34 today left 36 people injured.

All the injured, including the drivers of the two vehicles, have been admitted to the district hospital in Raiganj.

Most of the passengers of the bus, bound for Rosakhoa, were office-goers and schoolchildren and teachers. Traffic on the highway remained suspended for more than an hour after the accident near Krishnamuri, 10km from here, around 10.30am.

Sahadeb Roy, a teacher of a primary school of Rosakhoa who was travelling on the bus, said there were at least 40 passengers in the vehicle.

There is a dhaba near Krishnamuri. Several trucks line up there everyday, creating traffic congestion. Today, all of a sudden a truck came out of the dhaba in full speed. “Both the vehicles lost control and collided. After the collision, I fell to the ground and lost my consciousness. I suffered injuries on the head and chest,” Roy said.

Radheshyam Mahato, a doctor at the emergency ward of the hospital, said most of the passengers had injuries on head and chest. “The condition of at least five persons, including the two drivers, are serious. We are thinking of shifting them to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri,” he added.

Secretary of the North Dinajpur Bus and Mini Bus Owners’ Association Ashok Chanda alleged that dhabas on the highways were a threat to the passing vehicles. “The truck drivers park their vehicles on both sides of the road violating all norms,” he said.

Sankar Singha, the district superintendent of police, said his force had been asked to keep a watch on the dhabas and their parking arrangements.

“Under no circumstances the truck drivers should be allowed to block the highways. In today’s incident, the truck has been seized but the driver cannot be arrested as he is unconscious,” Singha said.

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