| The mangled remains of the Mahindra Maxx. A Telegraph picture
Siliguri, Dec. 13: Two persons died and 10 were injured, two of them seriously, when a Mahindra Maxx and a private bus collided near Gate No. 1 of North Bengal University on NH 31 today.
Around 11.30 am the speeding bus hit the Kathmandu-bound Maxx (SK04 5842) at Shivmandir, sending it smashing through the NBU wall. Bishnu Bhakta Dahal (35), a passenger on the Maxx, died on the spot, while the driver, Arun Gurung (30), later succumbed at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH), where the injured were taken.
The private bus was bound for Siliguri while, the Max, which had started its journey from Gezing in West Sikkim, was carrying a group of pilgrims from Sardang to Kathmandu and Pokhra.
According to an NBMCH source, the injured have been identified as Abhimaya Chettri (45), Koushallya Karki (40), Harimaya Chettri (22), Sabitri Chettri (50), Purnalaxmi Dahal (64), Koushallya Devi (50), Bhimmaya Chettri (30), Chandra Bahadur Chettri (30) and Chabilal Chettri (65). Of them, Sabitri and Bhimmaya were in a serious condition. Sabitri had an operation, while Bhimmaya was still unconscious.
Harish Chandra Dahal (23), who was also in the Maxx, appeared to have escaped injury, but was taken to hospital later after he complained of a chest pain, said Indra Chakraborty, Siliguri deputy superintendent of police.
Brajen Saibo of Shivmandir, who was witness to the accident, said: “A blue private bus, coming at a break-neck speed hit the Maxx, knocking it off the road, down the slope and into the university’s wall.” The bus driver reportedly drove away before anyone could block the road or note down the registration number.
At the same spot yesterday, a Bagdogra-bound auto-rickshaw from Siliguri had an accident with a bus, in which five persons were injured.
The DSP said the traffic police should not be made responsible for such accidents. “In most cases, reckless driving causes such mishaps,” he said.