CHANDIGARH: Thirteen government school teachers were killed and two seriously injured near Chandipur village in Fazilka district of Punjab, as the vehicle they were travelling in collided with a truck coming from opposite direction, on Friday. The reason for the collision is believed to be dense fog.
The teachers including five women were going to their schools in a jeep that tried to overtake a vehicle and collided head on with a truck coming from opposite direction.
The teachers who were killed were identified as Sanjiv Bagla, Shankar Lal, Manohar Lal, Ram Pal, Satinderjit Singh, Ashish,, Nazam, Sanjeev Kumar, Bindia, Tejinder Kaur, Shetal Kakkar, Natasha and Kiran Bala, as all of them belonging to Fazilka and Abohar.
The bodies of the deceased were kept at Civil Hospital in Fazilka, most of whom were newly appointed ETT teachers. While out of the newly appointed teachers four teachers were to join duty today. Of the thirteen dead, six died on the spot and others succumbed to the injuries the hospital, while the seriously injured teacher, Gopi Chand, was taken to a hospital at Abohar.
The senior officials of the district administration were at the spot.
The markets in this border town of Fazilka remained closed to show solidarity with the bereaved families. Senior leaders including health minister Surjit Kumar Jayani, Congress MLA Sunil Jakhar and Akali Dal MP Sher Singh Ghubaya reached the local civil hospital.
Senior superintendent of police of Fazilka Narinder Bhargav said investigation of the accident is underway.
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal expressed grief over the incident and condoled the deaths. He said he and his government were with the bereaved families at this critical hour. He also advised all to use utmost caution while driving in the coming days when dense fog dominated during early and later hours of the day.
Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh and AAP state convener Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi also condoled the deaths.
Amarinder asked the State government to change the school timings in order to ensure that school teachers, students and other staff are not exposed to the risk of accidents due to fog.
Meanwhile in neighboring Haryana, due to the fog, the vehicles of leader of opposition Abhay Chautala met with an accident while the leader was on his way to Delhi. His escort vehicle hit with a truck injuring his gunmen travelling in the vehicle. However, he escaped unhurt.