Truck crushes six to death in Delhi (Lead)

September 8th, 2008 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) In a ghastly display of lawlessness on Delhi’s roads, a speeding truck ploughed into a crowd of people surrounding an accident site, killing six people and injuring at least five others. According to dazed witnesses, the truck dragged five to six unsuspecting people under its wheels for up to a few meters before hitting the pavement and coming to a halt close to midnight Sunday at the Wazirabad traffic signal.

Assistant sub-inspector Balkar Singh, 48, was among a group of Delhi policemen taking down notes of an earlier accident at the site involving an autorickshaw and a motorcycle, close to a CNG fuel station.

Several passers-by had surrounded the policemen, watching the scene, when the speeding truck hit them from almost nowhere.

“When the vehicle finally stopped, three people were struck under its wheels. There was blood all over. People were screaming for help,” said Rajkumar, a witness.

“The victims were lying unconscious, perhaps dead. It was a ghastly scene. One victim’s hand had been ripped off and lay near the body,” he added.

A police officer said ambulances took the victims to three hospitals. Five people were declared dead: police officer Balkar Singh, Mathura Prasad, 25, Virender Yadav, 28, Altaf Ahmed Qureshi, 22, and auto driver Vipin Kumar, 22.

Raju, another victim, succumbed to injuries in one of the hospitals. In the melee, the truck driver and cleaner fled the spot.

“We had to lift the truck from one side to pull out the mangled bodies of three men trapped under it. The condition of their bodies suggested that they were dragged up to a good distance. All of them must have died of head injuries,” said the officer.

The injured were identified as Prabhu Yadav, 27, head constable Mitthan Lal, 45, and constable Pradeep Kumar. The authorities could not identify two injured men.

Mitthan Lal, posted in central Delhi, was passing by when he witnessed the earlier accident and stopped to assist the other policemen.

A case of rash and negligent driving under the Indian Penal Code has been registered at the Timarpur police station. Section 304-A, which deals with rash and negligent driving, can fetch the guilty a maximum of two years in jail.

“We have launched a manhunt to nab the driver and cleaner,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (North Delhi) Sagar Preet Hooda told IANS. “We have called the owner of the truck and are questioning him.”

The truck was registered in Haryana.

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