Four persons were injured and three vehicles were damaged when a unipole along Grand Trunk Road near river Hindon fell on Thursday morning.
Those injured were passing by the advertisement board when the incident took place. A car and two autorickshaws were crushed by the heavy iron pole.
The four victims suffered head injuries and were rushed to the MMG district hospital. The police later shifted three of them to GTB Hospital in Delhi.
“My seven-seater auto was crushed under the iron pole. I got trapped inside the auto and suffered severe head injuries. Passersby pulled me out. I bought the second-hand auto three years ago for Rs 2 lakh. It is completely damaged now. There was no heavy wind in the morning that could have led to the incident,” said Ajay Kumar, an auto driver injured in the mishap.
“My brother (32-year-old Sabir Khan) and his 35-year-old brother-in-law Pappu suffered severe injuries and were shifted from the MMG hospital to GTB Hospital in Delhi. They hail from Sundar Nagri in Delhi and were going to Ghaziabad in an NCR auto that was crushed. The driver of the auto is known to us. He had bought the three-wheeler a month ago,” said Salim Khan.
The auto driver is the fourth victim.
As soon as they received information about the incident, traffic police officials rushed to the spot and roped in cranes to remove the metal pole from the road.
“The traffic crane could not lift the pole. Even the bigger crane was not able to move it. We took more than an hour to cut the big pole and remove it from the road. It is clear negligence on the part of the agencies that do not pay attention to the specifications needed to install such poles. The incident caused damages and led to an hour-long jam,” said Anil Kumar, a traffic inspector.
Family members of the injured submitted a complaint at the Sihani Gate police station.
“We have received the complaint and will lodge an FIR. In their complaint, the victims have not named anyone. Four persons were injured. Three of them were shifted to Delhi,” said Manish Mishra, circle officer (city).
Officials of the Ghaziabad development authority denied giving permission for the installation of any unipole at the spot.
“No permission was given by the GDA for the installation of this unipole,” said Ravindra Godbole, secretary and officiating vice-chairman of the GDA.
DK Sinha, deputy municipal commissioner of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation, said he had no information about the unipole.
However, a staff of the corporation, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The road from Mohan Nagar to Thakurdwara has been allotted to a private firm for maintenance and installation of unipoles. We are yet to find out if the pole was installed by the private firm. We are carrying out a drive to remove all illegally installed unipoles. So far, nearly 60 such poles have been removed.”