The crushed van under the trailer at Chasnala on Wednesday. Picture by Gautam Dey
A speeding trailer crushed a mini-van in Chasnala on Wednesday afternoon, leaving five persons dead and 11 injured in its wake.
Both the van and the trailer were going in the same direction — from Dhanbad 28km away to Sindri — when the reckless trailer driver swerved to avoid a bus coming from the right near the SAIL Officer’s Colony gate, and hit the van on its left with full force. The trailer then toppled sideways on the smaller vehicle.
Television mechanic and Baliapur resident Arjun Kumbhkar (20), Domgarh resident and housewife Yasoda Devi (28), Dhanbad ITI student Vinay Kumar (17) and Hazaribagh residents Karmachari Rajak (44) and Arjun Rajak (48) — among the 16 passengers in the mini-van — were crushed to death. The injured, including van driver Amjad Khan, have been admitted in Pataliputra Medical College and Hospital, where the condition of two was stated to be critical.
SAIL officials including Chasnala area general manager A.K. Bhowmik, colliery manager Sanjay Kumar and a large number of colliery security personnel reached the accident spot within 10 minutes of the mishap that took place at 12.30pm and supervised rescue operations. The trailer was first lifted and then the dead and injured extricated from the mangled heap that the mini-van was reduced to.
According to eyewitnesses, minutes before the accident, the trailer had dashed against an auto-rickshaw near Loco Bazar, about 3km away, and was trying to speed away. The trailer driver and his helper are absconding.
As news of the accident spread hundreds of local residents rushed to the spot to help in rescue operations.
Sindri deputy superintendent of police Chandan Kumar Sinha, Dhanbad subdivisional officer Lal Mohan Mahto and Jharia circle officer Rinku Kumari reached the spot around 1.30pm and took stock of the situation. Officer in charge of Patherdih police station Farid Alam and inspector of Jorapokhar police station Parmeshwar Shukla also reached the site with a large number of policemen.
Bokaro MLA Samresh Singh, Nirsa MLA Arup Chatterjee and district Ajsu president Mantu Mahto also visited the spot around 5pm.
“The injured were first admitted in Chasnala primary health centre from where they were referred to Patliputra Medical College and Hospital,” DSP Sinha said.
The injured have been identified as Shakuntala Devi, Vipula Devi, Pankaj Kumar Singh, Apul Raja, Kari Abdul Majid, Kajal Devi, Keshav Kumar, Amjad Khan, Vikash Kumar, Vikash Singh and Pankaj Kumar.