PATNA: As many as eleven persons were killed and three others injured in a road accident in Bihar’s Vaishali district on Tuesday when an auto-rickshaw collided head-on with a bus. Ten victims were travelling in the auto-rickshaw and one was in the bus.
The accident took place on NH-77 near Sarai Bazar, 32 km north of Patna, and the reason is said to be over-speeding by both the vehicles. The victims included six women and a seven-month-old baby.
The collision was so severe that the auto-rickshaw, which had 12 people in it, was torn apart and a part of the front portion of the bus was damaged. The three injured people include the driver of the Sitamarhi-bound bus and a bus passenger. They are under treatment at a hospital in Hajipur.
“Nine of the eleven victims died on the spot immediately after the accident,” said Rakesh Kumar, superintendent of police in Vaishali.
“The drivers’ lack of control over their vehicles due to over-speeding is believed to be the reason behind the accident. A probe is on,” he added.
Some locals said the bus was running at a very high speed and that it hit the auto-rickshaw that was moving at a moderate speed. The death of 11 people sparked protests by the local people, who blocked the national highway for nearly an hour.
They demanded compensation to the victims’ families and better road transport. The blockade was lifted after Vaishali district magistrate Rachna Patil and the SP spoke with the protesters.
The state government announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh for the next of kin of each victim. Chief minister Nitish Kumar condoled the deaths.