Four people, including three women, were killed and more than 45 passengers injured when two buses collided at Palma, 22 km from here, on NH-23 (Ranchi-Gumla highway) on Tuesday.
Those who suffered fractures and head injuries were shifted to RIMS. Passengers with minor injuries were rushed to the Bero primary health centre.
The injured were rescued by members of the Jharkhand Armed Police posted at the Bero police station and local villagers.
A 41-seat bus on way to Ranchi from Gumla and a smaller bus of 22 seats going towards Bero collided at Palma. Witnesses told police that the buses going at a high speed crashed when the smaller bus was trying to overtake an auto-rickshaw.
Ranchi (rural) superintendent of police Raj Kumar Lakra said, “We have information of four deaths, most of them were women sitting in the front cabin of the bus. We are trying to collate the number of injuries, but it seems more than 40 have been hurt.”
Lakra added that the accident caused a major traffic hold-up on the NH and the police were trying to clear it. “The drivers seem to have miraculously escaped; they could be badly
injured,” he said.
Injured Ashok Kumar Jha, admitted to RIMS, said, “I was seated in the middle of the bus. We were supposed to be Ranchi by 6pm. As we were crossing Bero, our bus crashed. The only sound I could remember was of a crashing metal.”
Devi, admitted to RIMS with a fractured hand, said, “I was occupying a front seat. The cabins of both the buses were mangled and we were stuck. I hardly remember how the accident happened.”
Kishor Mantri, a bus owner who is not now in Ranchi, said, “I have heard it’s a massive accident and most of the injured were travelling in my bus.”
The accident exposed lack of preparedness of the state government to tackle major accidents. A Bero police officer said the injured had to be transported in auto-rickshaws and hired cars due to dearth of ambulances and beds at the Bero PHC. Patients faced dearth of stretchers