A pilgrimage turned out to be their last for five members of a family. The five, including three women and a child, died on the spot and seven others were injured when the MUV in which they were travelling collided with an iron-laden truck at Godbhaga on NH 6 under Attabira police limits in Bargarh district late on Monday.
The deceased have been identified as Pradeep Chindra (33), his three-year old daughter Gayatri Chindra, Geetarani Saraf (59), Supreeti Saraf (19) and Sukanti Saraf (53). The injured, who have been admitted to VSS Medical College and Hospital at Burla, are Krishna Saraf (19), Mamata Saraf (45), Biswajit Saraf (34), his wife Bobby Saraf (29), Benga Saraf (48) besides the driver of the MUV, Sanat Rana (24) and the truck driver. The condition of Mamata and Biswajit is stated to be critical.
A gas cutter was used to save the driver of the truck, who was sandwiched in the front portion of the mangled vehicle.
Sources said the accident took place at around 11 pm when the passengers of the ill-fated MUV were returning to Sambalpur after visiting Harishankar at Khaprakhol in Balangir district and Nrusinghanath temple in Paikmal block of Bargarh district. The truck was on its way to Raipur. It is believed that the driver of the MUV could have dozed off at the wheel resulting in the accident.