The mangled two-wheeler of Bittu Kumar Singh in Jugsalai on Monday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
A 22-year-old industrial employee, glued to his mobile phone while riding a bike, was mowed down on the tracks at a manned level crossing in Jamshedpur early on Monday.
The Delhi-bound Purushottam Superfast Express severed Bagbera resident Bittu Kumar Singh in front of a morning crowd at Jugsalai when his two-wheeler, which had breached the drop gate and was in gear, suddenly lurched forward as he accidentally released the clutch to save his slipping handset.
According to an eyewitness, the shocking incident took place around 6.30am.
“We were all waiting at Jugsalai level crossing for the train to pass. This youth was brash. He had crouched past the drop gate and was waiting on the other side close to the tracks, a mobile phone tucked between his head and left shoulder. All of a sudden, the phone slipped and his reflex prompted him to try to catch it with his left hand. The clutch was released and the bike rammed into the train,” Harish Lal Agarwal, a local resident.
Within seconds, Bittu was caught between wheels of the train and dragged more than 50 metres before emergency brakes were applied. “It was too late and a gruesome sight. The bike was mangled and the body in pieces,” Agarwal recalled with a shudder.
As an aghast crowd gathered on the spot, one onlooker identified the victim as Bagbera’s Naya Basti resident Bittu. Jugsalai police retried the body soon thereafter.
Sub-inspector T. Kispotta held the youth responsible for the accident. “The victim had not just breached the drop gate with his bike, but was also talking on the phone while leaving the two-wheeler in gear,” the officer said, adding that the body had been sent to MGM Medical College in Dimna for post-mortem.
Jugsalai police recorded the statement of Bittu’s uncle Surendra Singh. According to what the latter told police, the youth worked at a small-scale unit in Adityapur industrial area.
“He was on his way to Bistupur for some chores. He was in a hurry because he had planned to return home from there and then leave for work. What happened is unfortunate,” another kin told The Telegraph.
Monday’s accident was the second fatal one between Adityapur and Tata section under Chakradharpur railway division in two years. In 2012, a 25-year-old woman had met a similar fate near Adityapur station. Like Bittu, she was talking on her mobile phone while crossing the tracks and had failed to notice a train approaching from the Gamharia end.