(Clockwise from top left) The truck after it smashed into the house, a close-up of the point of impact and the Banerjees inspect the damage. Pictures by Gopal Senapati
A crash that shook Durgadas Banerjee’s house jolted him out of sleep around 2.30am on Sunday. He stumbled out of his bedroom as fast as he could, only to be dazzled by the headlights of a 12-wheeler truck that had smashed into his dining room.
The trailer was speeding down Kona Expressway when the driver lost control, jumped a flank and rammed into an outside wall of the single-storeyed Banerjee house in Baksara, Howrah. The building is only 18 years old but the impact was strong enough to raze the wall and put the vehicle in the dining room on the other side.
“I was terrified. I thought I was still asleep and the truck was part of a weird dream. It took three-four minutes for the incident to register,” said Durgadas, a retired ESI employee and a heart patient.
Son Banibrata called Chatterjeehat police station. The cops, with the help of three cranes, managed to remove the trailer from inside the house by 6am. The driver was arrested.
“The dinning table, chairs and some utensils kept on the table were crushed by the truck,” said Banibrata.
“Considering that the trailer jumped a flank and hit the house, it is almost miraculous that nobody was hurt in the accident,” said an officer of Chatterjeehat police station.
The truck did not hit the LPG cylinder in the Banerjees’ kitchen that shared the toppled wall with the dining room.
“The house would have blown up had the trailer hit the cylinder,” said Banibrata’s wife Munmun.
The accident has left the family shaken. “My daughter Konkana was shivering in fear. The first thing we did in the morning was send her to a relative’s place,” said Munmun.
Banibrata soon set out to look for masons to rebuild the wall. The family ordered lunch from a para eatery as the kitchen is unusable.