Bhubaneswar, April 20: Two people were killed in separate accidents today near the Gangua bridge and Uttara square on National Highway (NH)-203.
In the first incident, the victim was a 41-year-old resident of Unit III area, Umakant Jena. He was killed in the wee hours when the autorickshaw in which he was travelling was hit by a truck from behind near Uttara square. The incident occurred around 3.30am when Jena was returning with two of his friends from Kanas in Puri district after watching Jhamu Jatra.
An iron rod from the autorickshaw pierced through his head. Local people took him to a private hospital in the city. He died there following preliminary examination. His friends are still undergoing treatment. Jena’s body was handed over to his family members after the post mortem. The Chandrasekharpur police registered a case of unnatural death.
The victim in the second accident was a 35-year-old woman Sujata Patra of Gadachandpur village in Balipatna. Police said Sujata was travelling to Bhubaneswar with her husband Dinabandhu and two children around 11.30am.
She was riding pillion on her husband’s motorcycle. The bike’s handle grazed the side of a truck near the Gangua bridge.
Dinabandhu lost control of the vehicle and Sujata came under the wheels of a speeding truck.
Eyewitnesses said the accident took place because the road had narrowed down near the Gangua bridge.
“The motorcycle was dragged towards the truck. The woman was crushed to death. But fortunately her husband and children escaped,” said Rajesh Jana, an eyewitness.
This accident caused traffic jam resulting in hundreds of vehicles being stranded for about half an hour. The police reached the spot and cleared the road.
They rushed the victims to the Capital Hospital. While Sujata was declared brought dead, her husband and children were recovering.
Police officers said the NH-203 is a narrow double-lane road. More than 60,000 vehicles pass through this road regularly as it connects Bhubaneswar and Puri. Often drivers overtake other vehicles dangerously.
“Due to their recklessness, accidents occur on this stretch. During peak hours people need to be careful on this road, particularly near the traffic squares,” said a police officer.
Officers of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) said after the new bypass road is constructed, vehicular traffic on this road would be reduced and that would bring down the number of accidents.
“But still a lot depends on the drivers. They have to be careful on this road as it is still a two-lane road,” said a NHAI officer.