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Truck hits tree, 8 dead

Hazaribagh, Feb. 7: Eight persons were killed and 22 injured when a speeding mini-truck they were travelling in rammed into a roadside tree at Barkagaon in Hazaribagh on Thursday morning.

Among the injured, 16 are critical with head injuries and multiple fractures. They have been referred to Ranchi.

Officer-in-charge of Pelawal outpost Ramakant Tiwary said the driver, who was speeding, lost control of the truck, leading to the accident. He did not rule out drunken driving.

Sources said the truck had 30 labourers on board. They were coming to Hazaribagh town to work at a construction site. An eyewitness said around 9.20am, the speeding truck careened off the road near Fatah Ghati, 15km from the district headquarters, hit the tree and overturned, killing six on the spot. Two others died in hospital later. The driver survived unscathed.

“There were men and women. They were all bleeding profusely. We forced passing vehicles to stop and rushed the injured to Hazaribagh Sadar Hospital,” said Neeraj Sinha, a government teacher who was on his way to Tandwa.

Local residents alleged “complete mismanagement” at the state-run hospital. “Paramedics had to attend to patients for hours because doctors came in late. Two of the injured died waiting,” claimed a villager.

One of those injured, Sufal Mahto, said most of the labourers belonged to Chepakala village in Barkagaon. He said they had been hired by a contractor in town and met with an accident because the truck driver was speeding. “Awaaz huyi aur andhera chaa gaya. Jab hosh mein aaya toh pure shareer mein dard ho raha tha. (There was a bang and then blackout. When I regained consciousness, I was in terrible pain),” Mahto said.

Another victim, Parmeshwar Mahto, claimed the mini-truck was overcrowded.


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