Eleven people, including 10 of a family, died when a loaded truck fell on their car moving adjacent to it while negotiating a turn on the Ferozepur-Amritsar road, near Behak Pacchariyan village near Zira, 40km from district headquarters Ferozepur, on Thursday evening.
Victim Satnam Singh of Palasoar village in Tarn Taran district had taken his immediate family and other relatives to a religious fair (of Bhagat Baba Duni Chand) at Mahainwala Klan village in Zira in the morning. In all, 14 persons were on their way back in the Chevrolet Tavera SUV when the freak accident occurred around 4.30 pm.
The truck was loaded with powdered coal and salt, and both vehicles came parallel to each other at a sharp diversion carved out due to ongoing work on the highway. The truck driver, who managed to escape on foot, lost control and the truck fell on the car. The 11 deaths occurred on the spot, police said, and it took some effort to get the bodies and the three persons seriously injured out of the mangled car.
Besides Satnam, the dead include his wife Ranjit, sons Sukhchain Singh and Mandeep Singh, mother Mohinder Kaur, and other relatives Ranjeet Kaur, Raj Singh, Rajwant Kaur, Akashdeep Singh, Harmanpreet Kaur and Manjit Singh. Satnam’s two daughters, Muskan Preet and Sumanpreet, besides a relative’s son, Lovedeep Singh, were injured and admitted to the civil hospital at Zira. “They are stable and out of danger,” said Gaurav Garg, senior superintendent of police, Ferozepur, who also visited the spot.
He added, “We are registering a case against the truck driver.”
Ferozepur deputy commissioner Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, along with a team of the local Red Cross and other medical staff, reached Zira to provide help.
The family had a police constable, Jatinder Singh, travelling with them. He got only minor injuries. The policeman was security provided to the family after deceased Satnam Singh’s father, Jagir Singh, a Congress worker, was injured in a gunshot fired allegedly by a Shiromani Akali Dal leader outside a polling station at Lalu Ghuman village in Tarn Taran on February 4, when the Punjab assembly elections were conducted.