Chemical spill bike crash toll now 3, cops hunt for truck
Two days after two men died in an accident at Kashmere Gate following a chemical spill that forced them to lose control of their motorcycle, their friend who also rode with them succumbed to injuries on Monday.
Police said they were not sure if the deaths were due to exposure to the chemical or the fall that they suffered. All three had suffered burn injuries and policemen who had arrived to help them too said they had suffered burning sensation when they tried to lift the victims up.
On Monday, while police said they were still unsure of the nature of the chemical, they had tracked down the vehicle — a Rajasthan truck. Police have asked its owner to join the investigation.
On Friday, Usmanpur resident Monu Sharma (22) rode the motorcycle to outer Delhi’s Nangloi along with Mahesh Chand (23) and Shivam Lal (21). They were out to attend a friend’s wedding. On their return, at around 5.30am Saturday close to the Tis Hazari Court, the rider lost control of the motorcycle. It is not known whether they were wearing helmets.
While Chand and Lal died on Saturday, Sharma died on Monday. The trio was contractual employees at the New Delhi railway station.
Police said that according to preliminary medical reports, the three men may have died due to the chemical burns rather than the injuries suffered during the fall.
Over the last 48 hour, police said they have identified the truck owner in Barmer, Rajasthan. Efforts to identify the chemical are still under process at forensic labs, an officer who did not wish to be named, said.
Deputy commissioner of police (north) Monika Bhardwaj confirmed Sharma’s death.
A senior investigating officer, who did not wish to be named, said that they checked CCTV footages at the accident site and the places along the highway to identify the truck. Police then zeroed-in on the colour and the make of the truck that had spilled the chemical.
“Several CCTV footage and trucks had to be checked until we managed to get the truck’s registration number. The owner has been identified. He has been asked to join investigations to find out what chemical was being transported in the vehicle,” the officer said.
The officer said that preliminary medical examination of the three men has also suggested that they might have not died of fatal injuries but due to the chemical. “Whether they swallowed the chemical or they died of burns will be ascertained only after a detailed autopsy report,” the officer added.
A forensics team had collected sample of the chemical from the spot on Saturday and it was sent to forensic labs to ascertain its properties. “We are yet to identify the chemical. Examination is under process,” the police said.
On Saturday police had registered a case of negligent conduct with fire or combustible materials and causing hurt by act endangering the lives of others at Kashmere Gate police station. When two of the men succumbed to their injuries on Sunday, the police added the section of causing death due to negligence to the FIR.