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Bus crash kills lady

Burdwan, Sept. 28: A woman was today killed when a speeding bus overturned trying to negotiate a bend on the Burdwan-Nabadwip state highway, the third accident claiming two lives in a month on the potholed stretch.

Puja Khan, a 26-year-old homemaker who was sitting near the open door, was thrown off her seat and crushed when the vehicle overturned. Over 20 people were injured and have been admitted to Burdwan Medical College Hospital and the Kurmun health centre.

Police seized the bus but the driver fled.

Villagers in Burdwan’s Chottobarbelun, near where the accident took place, said the Nabadwip-bound bus was travelling at over 70km per hour and lost control trying to save a cow on the sharp bend.

Some of them also said the bus overturned when the front left wheel fell into a deep crater. They added several complaints to the administration went unheeded.

PWD officials blamed the rain for the delay in repairing the stretch. “We will begin work after the Pujas,” said Pradip Acharya, the sub-divisional officer.

Puja’s mother, who was travelling with her, said the driver was “equally responsible” for the accident. “Despite the road being riddled with potholes, he was driving the bus at great speed. He didn’t even slow down seeing the cow and the sharp bend,” she said.

Dilip Ganguly, the officer in charge of Burdwan police station, visited the accident site. He said a hunt was on for the missing driver.