A Class VII student and two others were killed after being run over by a jute-laden truck that lost control and hit a roadside temple in Naihati early on Wednesday.
The victims Dhiraj Mishra, 12, Tarak Shaw, 53, and Prakash Shaw, 32 were sleeping in front of a Hanuman temple near the entrance to Nadia Jute Mill when they were mowed down by the Bhatpara-bound truck around 4am.
Dinesh Paswan, 43, who was also sleeping there, was injured and admitted to hospital. The driver of the truck fled after the accident.
Police suspect the truck had lost control and smashed the temple wall, run over the four and hit the temple before turning turtle. Tarak earned a living by selling sugarcane juice, Prakash pulled a rickshaw. Both slept occasionally in front of the temple.
Family members of Dhiraj, who studied in a local school, said he was sleeping there because it was hot in the quarters of the jute mill, where his father works as a labourer.
Lalan Paswan, who lives in the jute mill quarters nearby, said they were alerted by the loud sound of the collision and overturning of the truck.
We rushed to the spot and took the four victims to Bhatpara State General Hospital, from where the critically injured trio were shifted to Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Hospital in Kalyani, he said. The three died in the morning.
The police have seized the killer vehicle. We are looking for the driver and the help, said Kalyan Mukherjee, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), Barrackpore commissionerate.
nGold seized: Gold worth Rs 3.7 lakh was seized from two men who were arrested in Ghutiari Sharif on Wednesday in connection with a burglary on July 28.