The truck overloaded with matchboxes after the accident on Sonari-Bistupur Road on Wednesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
It was a day of bizarre accidents in and around Jamshedpur.
While an overloaded truck ploughed into overhead power cables and uprooted a light post, which in turn damaged a shop in Sonari around 8am on Wednesday, the driver of a passenger bus suffered a heart attack at the wheel resulting in an accident that left 12 injured on NH-33 an hour earlier.
The accident involving the truck, ferrying a consignment of matchboxes from Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh to a city godown, has once again exposed how road rules are openly flouted in the steel city that prides itself on hosting some of Jharkhand’s top-notch industries.
That the truck was carrying load beyond capacity was obvious from the fact that its cargo dump got caught in cables that are networked 24ft above ground for uninterrupted power distribution. That the truck was also guilty of speeding is evident from how it ripped out the cement post near a driving school along Sonari-Bistupur Road.
Sonari OC Animesh Gupta conceded reckless driving and called the accident a close shave for the densely populated neighbourhood.
“The truck was overloaded with inflammable material, which could have triggered a major fire. The driver was negligent on three counts. First, he was carrying cargo beyond capacity. Second, he was speeding. Third, he didn’t stop after the vehicle got tangled in cables and, in the process, uprooted a light post that crashed on a shop. The truck also damaged two more electricity poles,” the officer said, adding that the errant driver surrendered only after local youths chased and nabbed him.
He maintained that though the truck was initially taken into custody, it had to be released following the intervention of a senior administrative officer.
“The truck owner agreed to pay damages to the shopkeeper. There was no complainant and hence, no case.”
In the other incident, the passenger bus rammed into a shop in Dalbhumgarh police station area of Ghatshila, 70km from city, after driver Balai Das had a heart attack around 7am. The 35-year-old was declared brought dead at Ghatshila Subdivisional Hospital.
“The private bus was going to Baharagora from Jamshedpur with 30 passengers. As the driver went into a cardiac arrest, he luckily slowed down and the vehicle came to a halt after hitting a shop. A dozen injured were released from hospital after first aid,” said a police source.