The mangled remains of the bus that collided with the truck in Old Malda on Thursday. Picture by Surajit Roy
Malda, March 27: Eleven people, including four minors, were killed and 45 others injured in two road accidents in the Malda district in the past 18 hours.
Around 2.45pm today, a truck and a private bus collided on NH34 at Kaluadighi in Old Malda, killing eight persons and injuring 28 others. In another accident at Baishnabnagar around 9.15 last night, a woman and her two children were killed and 17 others injured when an overloaded van collided with a truck.
Police said Minu Mondal, 35, her daughter Juli, 14, and son Sabyasachi, 12, died in the crash. Baishnabnagar is 35km from here. The injured were admitted to the Malda Medical College and Hospital.
Today, a 10-wheeler trailer truck rammed into a Chanchal-bound bus and ploughed through it at Old Malda, 15km from here.
Police said Ranjit Sil, the driver of the Malda-Chanchal bus, had said he was driving slow as vehicles were moving only on one lane of NH34. The other flank of the two-lane highway was closed for repairs.
“The driver, who is admitted to the hospital with a broken leg, said the truck had smashed into one side of the bus and ploughed through it. The cab of the trailer truck overturned after the collision,” said a source. The truck driver and the helper fled soon after.
The injured have been admitted to the Malda Medical College and Hospital.
“I had come to Malda with my son Kaushik and we were returning to Chanchal when the accident took place. There was a loud crash. I was flung off the seat and I heard people screaming. I cannot see and hear properly and that is why my only son was travelling with me. Now I cannot find him,” Sanatan Barman, 50, who has suffered head injuries, said. He has not been told that his son Kaushik, 16, died in the accident.
The boy from Chanchal had appeared for the Class X exams this year.
Others who died are, Razia Khatun, 12, her mother Sahanur Bibi, 35, from Kaliachak, Anwarul Haq, 42, and Mohammad Farok, 27, from Chanchal and Meser Ali, 50, from Gajole. Two bodies were yet to be identified till late evening.
Malda police chief Rajesh Yadav said: “I visited the spot. One side of the bus was completely smashed and the right tyre had burst. We are trying to find out if that had caused the accident. We are also trying to locate the owner of the truck that is registered in Bengal. The driver and helper fled.”
About last night’s accident Yadav said the van was overloaded. “The van has a capacity to carry eight persons but there were 20 people on it last night. We have learnt that the van was being driven recklessly and it collided with a moving truck while trying to overtake another vehicle. A woman from Lakshmipur in Baishnabnagar and her two children died in the crash. Van driver Saheb Shiekh, 28, is yet to regain consciousness. The truck driver has fled,” he said.