A truck in Seoni district lost control and ran over a Navratri procession, killing seven people and injuring a further 11 on Monday afternoon. The incident happened on NH-26, near the Banjari Mata temple in the district’s Parasiya Banjari village.
Around 20 villagers had started a procession carrying Navratra Jawra (green remains of urns) for immersion at a nearby pond when the truck ran them over. Seoni superintendent of police AK Pandey said the truck driver lost control over the truck, adding that he has fled the spot.
The deceased included four children. They have been identified as Rajendra (10), Manohar (7), Shalak Prasad (55), Ankit (8), Gangabai (58), Saroj (10) and Pathari (45).
Six people who were critically injured were referred to a hospital in Jabalpur, while the remaining have been admitted to a hospital in Lakhnadaun.
The district collector announced ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5,000 each to the families of the deceased, while Lakhnadaun MLA Yogendra Singh Baba said he would provide Rs 5,000 to the families of the deceased and `3,000 to the families of the injured.
Seoni MLA Dinesh Rai too chipped in, providing Rs 2,000 to the families of the injured who were referred to Jabalpur.
Meanwhile, the driver of the truck, which bore a Nagaland registration number, had not been arrested at the time of filing this report. The truck, however, has been seized.
200 OVERLOADED TRUCKS IMPOUNDED IN BHIND
The transport department impounded 200 overloaded trucks in Bhind on Monday. All the vehicles were carrying sand to Uttar Pradesh.
“The trucks were overloaded far more than their capacity. They were plying to Uttar Pradesh via Bhind because the approach slab to the Chambal bridge collapsed, rendering the route inoperable,” district transport officer TPS Bhadoria told HT.
“We received information of overloaded vehicles, so we checked and found vehicles carrying cargo weighing as much as 90 tonnes. In a 24-hour-long drive, we have impounded 200 such vehicles. Now the mining department will take action against them,” he said.
“It will take at least one month for the bridge to be ready for heavy transportation again. Until then, all trucks have to ply via Bhind,” he said.
Ironically, the Chambal bridge itself collapsed because overloaded trucks would ply on it — Bhind collector llayaraja T prohibited vehicles which carry more than 8.50 tonnes to use the bridge, and according to sources, more than 10,000 goods vehicles passed over the bridge on a daily basis.