KOLKATA: Seven persons were killed and 12 others sustained injuries when a bus collided head-on with an oil tanker on Saturday morning at Farakka in Murshidabad district.
Preliminary investigation revealed poor visibility because of morning fog might have led to the mishap.
The accident took place at a stretch of the National Highway where currently work to widen the thoroughfare is ongoing. "According to local people, both the vehicles were moving at high speed and both the drivers apparently failed to spot each other because of thick fog,’’ said a police officer.
While the two drivers died on the spot, five other deceased were identified as the commuters travelling in the bus. Among the injured, condition of five, who were admitted to various hospitals, was stated to be critical.
The police said the bus was coming from Siliguri and heading towards Behrampore. The oil tanker loaded with diesel was going to Assam from Kolkata.
‘’Caution indicators were placed along the stretch were the expansion work of the highway is going on. The mishap appears to be a fall out of ignorance by both the drivers. It is not clear how many commuters were travelling in the bus because those who escaped unhurt and suffered minor injuries left the spot shortly after the incident,’’ said Prasenjit Banerjee, sub-divisional police officer.
The local residents first initiated the rescue operation. They arranged vehicles to send the injured to different healthcare units in the area. Five of the victims succumbed to their injuries on their way to the hospitals.