Sept. 28: Seven persons were killed and 44 injured when a truck skidded off the road while trying to avoid hitting a cyclist coming from the opposite direction in Purulia this morning.
The vehicle was packed with people going to see a bullfight, an annual event at Nopara, when it overturned on the Purulia-Hura road around 7.30 am, about 230 km from Calcutta. Nopara was 16 km from the accident site near Ludurka village.
The injured were admitted to the Deben Mahato Hospital in Purulia town. Four of them were shifted to a hospital in Ranchi after their condition worsened.
Immediately after the accident, district magistrate B.P. Gopalika announced the cancellation of the bullfight. “Such events involving animals should be banned at any cost, even if they are part of annual festivities,” he said.
Additional superintendent of police Shankar Roy, who was camping at the spot where the truck skidded, said it was carrying about 100 people who were all from a village under the Purulia Rural police station. “The driver lost control while trying to negotiate the cyclist. We have arrested the truck owner but the driver is absconding,” said Roy.
Three persons died on the spot. Four others died on way to the hospital. Subhas Mahato, who was injured on the head, blamed over-crowding for the accident. “More people boarded the packed truck near Jambadh, 10 km from the accident site. We were travelling at a very high speed. We repeatedly asked the driver to go slow but he turned a deaf ear,” said Mahato.