The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Morbid Monday strikes again
- Minibus turns turtle as cop study blames weekend hangover for fatalities on road last year

Mayhem Monday struck again when a speeding minibus overturned on Strand Road during morning rush hour, leaving one dead and about 35 injured.

According to the latest survey on traffic ' with data for the year 2004 ' released by Calcutta Police on Monday, the highest number of road accidents, and deaths, take place on the first working day of the week.

The study also shows up BT Road and AJC Bose Road as the most accident-prone stretches, while the majority of the accident victims belong to the 46-plus age group.

Monday's Strand Road accident took place around 9.20 am as the crowded Metiabruz-Shyambazar minibus was speeding down St George's Gate. As it approached the Prinsep Ghat Circular Railway station, it lost control, rammed into the concrete divider and overturned.

The help, Md Hanif, was the first to be hurled on to the road. Then, the minibus turned turtle. As the passengers scrambled out, 40-year-old Hanif was trapped under the bus. According to police, he died on the spot.

'We are not sure how the minibus lost control,' said an officer of the Vidyasagar Setu Traffic Guard. 'It appears the steering of the bus developed a snag and the driver could do little to control the speeding vehicle,' he added.

Traffic constables on duty nearby alerted the local Traffic Guard. The message was then relayed to the traffic control room at Lalbazar and senior officers of the Fatal Squad, led by assistant commissioner of police (V) R.P. Singh, rushed to the spot.

The injured passengers, some with multiple fractures, were taken to SSKM Hospital and the vehicle was towed away to South Port police station.

According to traffic cops, Strand Road ' second only in the killer count to BT Road and AJC Bose Road ' is one of the few roads where vehicles move in top gear, often resulting in mishaps and fatalities.

'It appears from the data available that roads offering high traffic speed ' including BT Road and AJC Bose Road ' have witnessed the maximum number of accidents in the past year,' said Jawed Shamim, deputy commissioner of police (traffic).

But there is no explanation for morbid Mondays. Except something that can be loosely termed as 'a weekend hangover'.

'After Saturday and Sunday, people tend to slacken and probably try to rush to office, while running late. This could be one of the reasons why Monday claims so many lives,' Shamim added.

If haste could be held responsible for the rise in Monday mishap figures, the lack of agility could be the cause of 162 people above the age of 46 losing their lives in road accidents.

According to the 2004 figures released on Monday, 124 men and 36 women of that age group died on the city roads last year.

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