The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Deadly mobile rerun

Calcutta, July 9: The mobile has given its second wake-up call in less than a month: watch while you speak.

Three weeks after make-up artist Prabir De was hit by a train and killed while speaking on his cell, a 28-year-old motorcyclist similarly engrossed in conversation was crushed by a lorry.

Manoj Kumar Sonkar’s body was found early today in a corner of Jatindra Mohan Avenue near Burtolla street, a few yards from his mangled motorbike, his mobile a few more yards away.

Witnesses said he had rammed into the pavement railing as he spoke, was flung off his bike and ploughed down by a speeding lorry.

Police said incoming call records on his mobile 'Sonkar was employed with a private firm ' confirmed he was talking when he crashed.

“Sonkar had stopped his bike to switch on his mobile. Then he held the phone under his chin and started driving,” a police officer quoting a witness said.

A while later, he crashed into the railing. “We could see from a distance that Sonkar lost control and was thrown off the bike,” the witness said.

The wheels that killed Sonkar have yet to be traced. But Anuj Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (headquarters), said: “The driver may not have had a choice, he might have landed right in the way of the speeding vehicle.”

Sonkar’s death should come as a warning to drivers, he said. Speaking on the cell while driving is an offence and invites a fine of Rs 100.

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