Two persons, including a lecturer of a polytechnic institute, were killed and 15 others injured when a private bus coming from Esplanade skidded off the road and rolled into a roadside ditch near Barasat, in North 24-Parganas, on Saturday morning. All the injured were admitted to the district hospital. The condition of eight persons was stated to be critical.
Rahul Srivastav, additional superintendent of police, North 24-Parganas, said the incident took place around 10.15 am on Barasat-Basirhat Road, near Kadambagachi. “The bus, headed for Basirhat, was plying at high speed. It skidded off the road after hitting a speed-breaker. The driver managed to jump out of his cabin before the vehicle rolled into the ditch,” he said.
Residents of the nearby Geokhali village rushed to the accident site. They broke open the emergency door and dragged out at least 45 passengers who were trapped inside.
Later, a contingent from the Barasat police station reached the spot and arranged to send the injured to the local health centre and the district hospital.
Srivastav said two persons died on the spot. The teacher was identified as Sashwata Bhattacharya, 32. The other victim, said to be the helper of the bus, is yet to be identified. “Both were found in the ditch. They must have been suffocated to death,” added Srivastav.
The bus was taken to the police station. Police said the suspension beam that joins the front wheels of the bus broke down while crossing the speed-breaker.