Three persons including a father and his son were killed and at least 15 injured in a head on collision between a tourist bus and a truck on Chandigarh road near Mahilpur in the wee hours of Sunday.
Two of the critically injured bus passengers were referred to PGI Chandigarh. The bus driver allegedly dozed off and crashed the bus in to the truck coming from the opposite direction.
He managed to flee even as the police toiled to extract bodies and injured from the mangled remains of ill fated vehicles. A case has been registered against him.
The Delhi bound bus (UP 35 H 1000) of Sahib Travel Company, had reportedly started from Jammu around 9.30 pm on Saturday and carried 45 passengers including the driver and a co driver.
Around 1.30 am, it crashed in to the truck (PB 07 AC 3386). The collision was so strong that both the vehicles were badly crushed.
Injured passengers cried for help as they found no escape point. Police used JCB machines and cranes to extricate the bodies and the trapped passengers.
"The only door of the bus was locked. We had to smash the windows to rescue the passengers", said Mahilpur station house officer Dilbagh Singh.
It took the police and the public more than two hours to extricate the trapped persons, he added.
Deputy commissioner Anindita Mitra, senior superintendent of police Rajjit Singh and SP (detective) Rajinder Singh visited the spot and met the injured in the hospitals.
The injured were admitted to hospitals in Hoshiarpur, Mahilpur and Garhshankar. They were identified as Rajinder Singh (Mukerian), Ishfaq (Gurgaon), Shivani (Pithoragarh), A K Shivesar (Indian Air Force), Ali Mohammed (Gurgaon), Shanti (Ghaziabad), Inderjit Singh and his son Kamaljit Singh (Poonch), Mohammed Hussain (Ghaziabad), Vickey Kumar (Doda), Montu Kumar (Jammu), Hazara (Jammu), Aksh Mahajan (Jammu), Altaf Hussain (Delhi) and Kutubdin (Delhi). The first two were critical and referred to the PGI. The passengers said they were fast asleep when the accident occured.
Those killed in the mishap have been identified as Sujaat Ali (50), resident of Delhi, Kapil Dev (35), of Fatehgarh Hoshiarpur and Pawan Kumar (30) of Gonspur, Mukerian. Kapil was driving the truck.
The case was registered on the statement of injured Kutubdin, brother-in-law of victim Sujaat Ali, who alleged that the bus driver was driving the vehicle at a very fast pace.