At least nine people were killed and nearly 40 injured as thick blanket of smog engulfed Punjab and Haryana on Sunday resulting in pile-ups on highways, including the busy GT Road.
Hundreds of vehicles remained stranded on the National Highway-1 as authorities struggled to clear the road after the accidents.
In Karnal, a 47-year-old woman Pankaj Bala of Yamunanagar was killed and 15 others were injured in a pile-up involving 30 vehicles on a flyover close to the new grain market. “The injured have been admitted to various hospitals in the district. The bodies have been sent for autposy”, said highway police station in-charge Shamsher Singh.
Pile-ups were also reported at Raipur Roran village, Namaste chowk and Karan lake. A Volvo bus driver Major Singh of Himachal Pradesh was killed while 12 others were injured in a pile-up at Samalkha in Panipat district. Over two dozen vehicles were damaged, said police.
Four youths were killed when an unknown vehicle hit their motorbike near Ghilod village on NH-71 A in Rohtak. “The accident resulted in a pile-up in which sic persons were injured,” said Sadar police station in-charge Vijay Dahiya.
In Jind, a head-on collision between two trucks near Ikkas village due to poor visibility resulted in death of one of the drivers.
In Fatehgarh Sahib (Punjab), one person was killed and at least six others were injured in a pile-up on the GT Road near Harbanspura village. The deceased has been identified as Manish Vyas of Ludhiana.
According to police, the accident occurred after a truck driver applied sudden brakes resulting in multiple collision among vehicles moving behind it.
Sirhind station house officer Baljit Singh said the driver applied sudden brakes as smog had reduced visibility.A case under section 174 (unnatural death) of the CrPC has been registered.
A man was killed on the Sangrur-Patiala national highway when a truck hit his scooter near Rayat Bahra Institute. The deceased was identified as Narinder Sharma, 46. “There was dense smog in the morning when the accident took place,” said a police official.
. “Smog causes irritation in eyes while driving. We have issued instructions to drivers to wear glasses. Poor visibility in the morning will continue for some days,” said Sham Singh Chauhan, weather analyst of Central Soil Salinity Research Institute in Karnal.