A string of road mishaps across the city claimed three lives and left 25 persons injured on Wednesday.
All three victims were killed on the spot and the injured were admitted to various clinics. Police impounded all the vehicles involved in the mishaps.
Preliminary investigations have led the police to believe that reckless driving sparked the accidents.
The first mishap took place around 5.50 am when a private bus on route no. 12 overturned at Esplanade. Passengers were trapped under the vehicle and one of them died. The victim was later identified as Joy Shankar Das, 24.
Ten others received serious injuries. Policemen patrolling the Esplanade area initiated rescue operations and shifted the injured to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.
The second accident took place around 12 noon at the Hazra Road and Ritchie Road intersection. A 32-year-old employee of a courier company died after being crushed under the wheels of a private bus on route no. 204/1. The victim was identified as Rabi Ghosh.
B. Modak, officer-in-charge of south-east traffic guard, said rash driving led to the mishap.
“The killer bus and another private bus went on a racing spree on the crowded road. As a result, the driver of the killer vehicle lost control and ran over the victim,” he added. The driver managed to flee but one of the conductors was arrested.
As news spread, local people rushed to the spot and blocked the road. They pelted stones at the killer bus and smashed its windscreen. The crowd alleged that reckless driving had claimed another life at the same crossing two months ago, but no action had been taken.Residents of the area said there was a traffic outpost at the intersection, but no policeman was seen at the time of the accident.
Officer-in-charge Modak denied the allegation. Instead, he advocated a change in the commission system of operating buses, claiming that it gave rise to reckless driving.”
Fifteen persons, including four women, were injured when a speeding minibus hit a road-side tree on VIP Road, near Baguiati, around 11.30 am. “The accident happened half-an-hour before the Governor’s convoy from Raj Bhavan was scheduled to go to the airport,” said an officer of the Baguiati police outpost.
Soon after the accident, a mob gathered on the spot and shifted all the injured, including the driver of the bus, to nearby private nursing homes. Traffic was disrupted for over half-an-hour on VIP Road.
A 40-year-old unidentified person died at the intersection of Diamond Harbour Road and Shahpur Road. He was crushed under the rear wheels of a luxury bus.
Traffic is likely be thrown out of gear on Thursday afternoon because of a huge rally, to be brought out by Bharat Sevashram Sangha, from Rashbehari Avenue at about 1 pm, to celebrate Shri Shivratri and Pranavananda Jayanti. Calcutta Police has advised motorists to avoid Rashbehari Avenue in view of the rally.