Oil tanker turns wedding into tragedy

Patna/Muzaffarpur: At least seven members of a wedding party were killed and seven others injured when a passenger vehicle carrying them collided head-on with an oil tan-ker on national highway-28 in Muzaffarpur district in the wee hours of Thursday.

Three of the seriously injured have been rushed to Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) where the condition of two was said to be critical. Five of the injured were minors and they were all returning from a wedding in Samastipur.

The accident took place around 2am near Kesopur Haat on NH-28, connecting Muzaffarpur with Samastipur under the jurisdiction of Sakra police station, around 30km southeast of Muzaffarpur district headquarters. The passengers were returning to Sarmastipur Pakri village in Muzaffarpur district from Vishunpur in Samastipur.

The Sakra police station house officer (SHO) Jitendra Kumar said five persons died on the spot and two others in hospital. Altogether 14 persons were in the vehicle.

The wedding vehicle was hurled five-feet in the air after the collision. "A few of the bodies were taken out of the vehicle after cutting its door with a gas cutter," he said. The oil tanker driver fled leaving the vehicle behind. "Efforts are on to trace him," the SHO said.

Accident survivors told police they had noticed the driver dozing off while driving. "We cautioned him but he paid no heed. An oil tanker coming from the opposite direction hit our vehicle," a police officer quoted one of the survivors as saying. ASP Pandey said family members of the dead would be given a cheque of Rs 4 lakh each by the administration.

Muzaffarpur additional superintendent of police Gaurav Pandey said the dead were identified as Shashi Kumar, Pritam Kumar, Sukesh Kumar, Sanjeet Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar, Raushan Kumar and Rajiv Rai, all aged between 17 to 22 years.

A majority of them were examinees of the secondary school examination.

Chandan Kumar, Mintu Kumar and Raja were shifted to a private hospital. The condition of four others was said to be out of danger.

This is the second major mishap in the district in the last two weeks. On February 24, nine children were crushed to death and 10 others received severe injuries when a sport utility vehicle (SUV) bearing a saffron party flag atop hit them when they were standing in front of their school at Dharampur village on Muzaffarpur-Sitamarhi road.


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