The bus after the accident. Picture by Jahangir Badsa
Tamluk, Jan. 10: At least eight persons were killed this evening when the Digha-bound bus they were travelling in was hit by a dumper that swerved to its right to avoid a mentally unstable youth wavering on an East Midnapore road.
The mentally unstable youth was crushed under the private bus that had turned sharply to its left to avoid being hit by the dumper, which was coming from the opposite direction.
A police officer said the dumper ploughed through the bus, which was coming from Howrah, and stopped around 300 metres away.
Around 30 people were injured in the 6pm accident at Heria in Contai.
“Most of those who were killed were sitting beside the widows,” the officer said.
The injured passengers were admitted to Contai and Tamluk subdivisional hospitals and nursing homes in the area. Five were shifted to SSKM Hospital.
Four of the dead were identified as Jayanta Das, 26, Kartik Jana, 26, Prasanta Mahapatra, 30, and Kamalini Gayen, 30. They are all from East Midnapore. Three others, including a 10-year-old boy and a woman, are yet to be identified.
Around 1,000 people from the neighbourhood rushed to the accident spot to find out if their family members were in the bus, leaving the Calcutta-Digha road blocked for some time.
Schoolteacher Satyajit Duari, 42, who was in the bus, said: “After the collision, the bus stopped with a jerk. An iron handle came off and hit me on the head. The lights went out and there was darkness all around.
“Residents rushed in with torches and rescued us. I was bleeding from the head.”
The driver of the dumper fled, leaving the vehicle.
District magistrate Parwez Ahmed Siddiqui and police superintendent S.K. Jain visited the accident spot.