The truck that crashed into shops near Dalkhola level-crossing. Pic: Nantu Dey
TT, Raiganj, May 6: Seven persons were killed and seven injured in two separate road accidents in Itahar area of North Dinajpur today.
Around 6am, a truck laden with corn that was going from Raiganj side towards Malda collided with an oil tanker near Baidra police check post on NH34.
Police said the vehicles were racing against each other when the accident took place.
Baidra is 37km from here.
“The truck driver lost control near the check post and rammed into a tea stall and a grocery shop along the highway. Phulmoni Kasya, 67, Saifuddin Sarkar, 35, Naziruddin Ahmed, 40, and Tahiruddin Sarkar, 58, died on the spot,” a police source said.
Seven persons were injured and admitted to Itahar rural health centre.
Prafulla Barman, a labourer who was injured in the leg and referred to Raiganj hospital, said he had been waiting at the tea stall to catch a bus to Malda. “It was around 6am when I reached Baidra. There were five or six others in the area as well. I had a cup of tea and went to the grocery stall to buy a cigarette. Suddenly, a truck rammed into the shop and I was flung away. I lost consciousness,” Barman said.
The bike on which the three youths were travelling
A local shopowner said: “The truck was trying to overtake an oil tanker when the driver lost control and rammed into the shops. All four who died had to be pulled out from under the truck.”
Around 22km away at Tilana More, three youths who were travelling on a motorbike were killed on the Itahar-Kaliaganj state highway around 3pm when the two-wheeler dashed against a tree.
Tilana More is 28km from here.
Police said local people took the trio to Itahar rural hospital where they were pronounced brought-dead.
North Dinajpur police superintendent, Amit Kumar Bharat Rathod, who visited Tilana More, said the police would start a drive to check reckless driving.
“Four died in the Baidra incident. The truck has been seized but the driver is absconding. In the second incident, none of the three was wearing helmets. We will start a district-wide drive to stop all this,” Rathod said.
Sources in Itahar police station said only one of the three youths on the bike had been identified. “Only one youth has been identified from his college ID card. His name is Nirmal Roy, 22. He is a resident of Gajole,” said a source.