“Three generations of this family have been wiped out,” exclaimed a man in his late 50s at the Nigambodh Ghat on Wednesday afternoon, as he, along with over a hundred others, attended the funeral of five people of a family who were killed in an accident on the Agra-Delhi highway on Tuesday.
Ashok Agarwal, 65, his wife Manju, 60, son Amit, 40, daughter-in-law Seema, 36, and 11-year-old grandson Shobit were returning from Vrindavan on Tuesday when their Hyundai Santro car crashed into a stationery tractor on the highway near Mudkhera in Palwal district. “When the car crashed, the LPG started leaking and got mixed with the refrigeration gas of the air-conditioner. Before local residents could rescue them by breaking windowpanes, the car caught fire. All bodies were charred beyond recognition,” said a neighbour.
“It was very difficult to recognise the bodies. Uncle (Ashok) was identified by his wrist watch. After post-mortem and other formalities, we brought the bodies back this morning,” said Ankur, Amit’s cousin.
Some relatives blamed the car manufacturer and recalled what a safe driver Amit was. Few others discussed the need to monitor the movement of tractors on the highway.
Meanwhile, the Palwal police on Wednesday launched a hunt for the driver of the tractor as they think, on the basis of the preliminary enquiry, that he had abruptly stopped the tractor resulting in the mishap.
“We believe he got angry with the repeated honking by the car driver and abruptly applied brakes, causing the crash,” Mudkhera police chowki in-charge Malkhan Singh said. The investigating officers added that they have located the tractor driver’s house at Allawalpur village in Palwal district. The driver is still untraceable, an officer said.