Burdwan, Jan. 9: Five members of a Burdwan family, including an eight-month-old girl, sitting in the courtyard of their house 15ft from a state highway were killed when a dumper rammed into their hut today.
Villagers in Raina, where the accident took place, said the driver was “heavily drunk” and fell to the ground on being chased by them. He was handed over to police but the cleaner managed to escape.
The stone-laden dumper, which was heading for Arambagh in Hooghly from Bankura, swerved to its left and rammed into the mud house along the Burdwan-Arambagh state highway around 2.40pm.
“We heard a screeching sound and screams of people. On reaching the spot, we found at least five persons lying on the ground in a pool of blood. We pulled out the bodies. Three of them were children,” said Niranjan Pradhan, a 47-year-old farmer.
The farmer, who was sitting in tea stall when the accident took place, said police arrived after half-an-hour and towed away the dumper using a crane. The bodies were pulled out from under the vehicle, which also turned turtle.
Three persons who were injured were rushed to Burdwan Medical College Hospital, about 30km away. Five of the family were declared “brought dead”.
Those killed were identified as Kalyani Hazra, 46, her daughter-in-law Archana, 27, Archana’s son Subhojit, 8, and daughter Tuktuki, 8 months, and Kalyani’s sister’s granddaughter, Rashmoni, 9.
Traffic on the state highway came to a standstill for more than two hours after the accident as the dumper lay in the way.
District superintendent of police S. M. H. Meerza said that the driver had been arrested and the vehicle seized. “The driver looked heavily drunk and his medical tests are being done,” he added.