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Tanker mows down techie

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 25: A 50-year-old engineer working with the Odisha State Housing Board was killed in a road accident on Vidyut Marg near Sastri Nagar this morning.

The engineer, identified as Pradipta Kumar Das, was hit by a water tanker of the Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO) around 9am. He was returning home at Nayapalli after dropping his daughter for a tuition class at Goutam Nagar.

Two other persons riding another motorcycle were also injured in the accident when Das’s two-wheeler crashed against their’s after being hit by the water tanker.

The injured duo were identified as Gaffar Khan, 85, and his son Akhthar Khan, 55. The condition of Gaffar, who sustained injuries on his head and chest, is critical and he has been shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.

Akhthar said after the traffic police let the vehicles from Unit-IV side move ahead, Das’s motorcycle and his crossed the road. However, a PHEO water tanker coming from the Powerhouse Square side hit Das’s vehicle from behind.

“I applied the brakes seeing the speeding water tanker, but Das could not and was hit by the vehicle. He was hit so hard that his two-wheeler crashed into my stationary bike. My father and I were thrown off our vehicle because of the impact. Das died on the spot,” said Akhthar.

Local residents rescued the victims and informed the police, who rushed them to hospital.

The tanker’s driver, however, escaped from the spot leaving the vehicle at Kalinga Stadium Square.

Das was declared brought dead at Capital Hospital.

The Kharavela Nagar police seized the water tanker from Kalinga Stadium Square.

“We have registered a case of accident and have launched a manhunt to arrest the tanker driver,” said a senior police officer.

Sastri Nagar residents said many road median cuts along Vidyut Marg caused frequent accidents there.

“Those who pass through these median cuts get hit by the speeding vehicles. The authorities should do something to prevent such accidents near the cuts where traffic police manage the vehicular movement,” said Santosh Padhi, a local resident.