In a horrifying incident that took place in the early hours of Friday, a pickup van carrying members of a family returning from a wedding function at Akhipur to their Chitrakut Nagar residence fell into the river Ganga from a pontoon bridge near Purani Panapur under Akhipur Police Station. According to District Magistrate, Chandrasekhar Singh, the vehicle lost balance and veered off the Peepa Pul breaking through the iron railings. Though the van was carrying a total of fifteen people including the driver, four of them managed to swim to safety.
Rapid rescue operations were carried out by a team of the SDRF headed by sub-inspector Ashok Kumar. BJP Lok Sabha member and former union minister Ramkripal Yadav also arrived at the spot later on and supervised the same. Nine bodies, including four women and three minors, were recovered by the team after the van was fished out from an almost 25 feet river bed with the help of a crane. Two more are feared dead.
The slain people were identified as Ramakant Singh (65), his wife Geeta Devi (55), his brother’s wife Saroj Devi (50), his nephew Arvind Singh (45), his brother’s grandson Ashish Kumar (10), his sister Anuragi Devi (60), her two grandchildren Madhu Kumari (13) and Priyansh Kumar (8) and his sister-in-law Gayatri Devi (55). All bodies have been taken to Danapur sub-divisional hospital for post-mortem after which they would be handed over to family members. Ramakant’s brother’s grandson Rakesh Singh was going to get married on April 26th and the family had come to Akhipur to attend his Tilak ceremony.
Expressing his grief over the unfortunate incident, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered that the ex-gratia amount of Rs. 4 lakh each for the next of kin of the dead be given without any delay, an official statement said. Reportedly, an inquiry has also been ordered to know the reason behind the accident and it would be conducted by a three-member committee headed by the ADM. Prima facie the driver might have been at fault as he allegedly fled the spot.
In India, one life is lost owing to road accidents every four minutes. Such mishaps also claim around 3600 lives around the world each day. At such a juncture, it’s the call of the hour for us to be more vigilant and follow traffic rules as our lives depend on it, because it does.
[author title=”Megha Satapathy” image=”https://goachronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/IMG_20210205_095950.jpg”]Intern, Goa Chronicle[/author]
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