Bhubaneswar, Feb. 19: An ambulance turned turtle at the Regional Institute of Education (RIE) Square on Sachivalaya Marg this morning killing the patient it was carrying and injuring three others.
Relatives of the deceased created a ruckus at the spot and attacked a traffic policeman on duty alleging that the accident was caused because of his faulty signalling.
The police identified the deceased as 75-year-old Katu Mohanty of Vani Vihar. Mohanty, who hailed from Balikuda in Jagatsinghpur, complained of chest pain this morning.
His family members were rushing him to Capital Hospital in a private ambulance when the accident took place.
Khulana Nayak, Mohanty’s relative who was accompanying him in the ambulance, also sustained severe injuries and is undergoing treatment in a hospital.
The other two injured were identified as Chandrakant Nayak of Bhoisahi at Nayapalli and Ajay Kumar Panda of Badamba in Cuttack.
They were travelling on their motorcycles when the ambulance hit them on the wrong lane.
Relatives of the deceased alleged that the traffic policeman deployed at the square was talking on his mobile phone when he stopped the fast-moving ambulance that was already using emergency siren.
“The driver could not control the vehicle and turned it towards the right. The vehicle overturned on the road and my uncle was thrown out. He died on the spot,” said a relative of the deceased, Babu Nayak.
There was tension in the area following the accident as the family members and relatives of the deceased created a ruckus.
One of Mohanty’s relatives even assaulted the traffic policeman on duty.
However, local traders and residents opposed him saying it was the fault of the ambulance driver who was driving the vehicle very fast.
Senior police officers had to rush to the spot following the accident.
The police control room vans rushed the injured persons to a nearby hospital. The driver of the ambulance escaped from the spot immediately after the accident.
Traffic constable Fakir Parida, who was manning the square at that time, said that the ambulance was coming from Acharya Vihar Square at a very high speed and it was not even using the emergency siren.
“The ambulance used the siren at the last moment. But by that time, I had allowed the vehicles from the other side to cross the road. When I signalled the vehicles from the other side to stop to allow the ambulance to pass, it turned towards the right lane and hit two motorcyclists coming from opposite direction. It then turned turtle,” said Parida.
Another eyewitness said that the driver of the ambulance could not control the vehicle at the last moment as it was running very fast.
“Luckily, it did not hit other vehicles directly. Or else many people would have been killed,” said Pradyumna Naik, a local trader.
Saheed Nagar police registered a case of accident. “We found that it was the fault of the driver who is now absconding. We will arrest him soon,” said a senior police officer.