Four people were killed and 32 injured when a light commercial vehicle, Tata-407, fell into the Sirhind canal near Jhamluti village, on the Rupnagar-Chamkaur Sahib road, 19 km from here, on Wednesday. Police sources said that the driver lost control over the vehicle, which rolled down into the muddy area of the canal at around 1 pm.
The devotees were returning after paying obeisance at Naina Devitemple in Himachal Pradesh in the vehicle (Registration number PB 10AN3832). Nineteen of the injured were taken to the Rupnagar civil hospital and 13 were admitted to a Chamkaur Sahib hospital from where five were referred to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh; one ofthem succumbed to injuries.
The deceased have been identified as Harpreet Singh (13), migrant labourer Pappu (40), Harpreet Singh (26) and Sukhwinder (age unconfirmed), residents of Shahbazpur village near Raikot in Ludhiana.
Residents of surrounding villages rescued the devotees.
A passenger Gurpreet Singh, one of those injured, claimed that the driver, Lakhbir Singh, lost control over the vehicle due to high speed. The driver, however, claimed that the front wheels of the vehicle had jammed.
Rupnagar DSP (detective) Manmeet Singh visited the spot and supervised the rescue operations. The driver has been booked under sections 279 (rash driving or driving on public way); 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the the IPC.