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Accident kills infant

South Port: A one-year-old boy clinging to his mother as she rode pillion on a scooter was flung to the ground and fatally injured after a truck hit the two-wheeler in the Garden Reach area on Sunday night.

Ayan Shaw was possibly returning home with his parents and sister - the little girl was seated between her parents - when the tragedy occurred. The family lives in Maheshtala.

Police said none of the family members was wearing a helmet.

Ayan was declared dead on arrival at SSKM Hospital while his mother, Bharati, was hospitalised with multiple injuries. The father, Santosh Kumar, and the daughter, six-year-old Asmita, escaped with bruises.

The accident off Circular Garden Reach Road around 8.45pm triggered a mob attack on the truck. The driver was being assaulted by people from the neighbourhood when a police team reached the area. The vehicle had been set ablaze by then, prompting the team to call for reinforcements.

Seraj Khan, the driver, had to be admitted to hospital.

"Based on our preliminary investigation, the truck was at fault. But that does not absolve the parents of the responsibility of following safety norms like wearing helmets," an officer of the traffic department.

The accident site at the crossing of Circular Garden Reach Road and Coal Berth Road is under the jurisdiction of South Port police station.

In 2016, two children of a family died and another was critically injured near Dunlop while they were being ferried to school in a motorcycle without helmets. The person riding the bike was wearing a helmet, but the children were not.

"There are no helmets for infants, but it is common to see even older children riding motorbikes and scooters without protection. It beats common sense that some parents have helmets on their heads but leave their children unprotected," the officer said.

Motorbike riders without helmets is a common sight in Calcutta despite increased police vigilance and a campaign that bars fuel pumps from providing petrol to anyone riding a two-wheeler without protection.

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