Four national-level hockey players killed, three injured
The deceased were identified as Shahnawaz Khan, 20, from Indore, Aadarsh Hardua, 22, from Itarsi, Ashish Lal, 21, from Jabalpur and Aniket Varun, 19, from Gwalior.Updated: Oct 14, 2019 18:50 IST
Four national-level hockey players died while three others were injured in an accident that took place near Itarsi in Hoshangabad district, 70 kilometers south of Bhopal, on Monday morning while they were on their way to Hoshangabad to play the semifinal of an All India invitational hockey tournament, said police. The accident took place when the car they were travelling in rammed into a tree resulting in death of the four on the spot.
The deceased were identified as Shahnawaz Khan, 17, from Indore, Aadarsh Hardua, 17, from Itarsi, Ashish Lal, 16, from Jabalpur and Aniket Varun, 17, from Gwalior. The injured include Shawn Gidion Alfred, 22, Akshay Awasthi, 17, and Sahil Chaure, 17. They have been admitted to a private hospital in Hoshangabad. The condition of Awasthi is stated to be critical, according to police.
The deceased were trainees of MP State Hockey Academy and represented the academy team in national tournaments. Two of the injured are trainees of the academy while Shawn Gidion is an ex-trainee of the academy.
Gidion who was on the driver seat when the accident took place told the media persons that he lost his balance in trying to avoid a collision with a Bolero jeep which came in front of his car all of a sudden. The car belongs to him.
However, superintendent of police, Hoshangabad ML Chhari said, “Prima facie, it was a case of careless driving that led to the accident. The car went out of control and rammed into a tree. The car was on a high speed when it met with the accident.”
All the bodies were sent for the postmortem.
MP sports director SL Thaosen said, “All the players were staying in Hoshangabad during the ongoing tournament. On Sunday, Aadarsh Hardua’s parents requested the coach to allow the players to visit Itarsi to celebrate the birthday of Aadarsh. As the distance between Hoshangabad and Itarsi is just 18 kms the coach allowed the players but with a strict instruction not to travel during the night on return. All the six players and Gidion were going to Hoshangabad in the morning when the mishap took place.”
All the players belong to a humble background. Blaming the sports department officers Tanishq Varun, brother of Aniket Varun, said, “When the semi-final match of the tournament was scheduled to be held on Monday only why they allowed players to go for a party on Sunday.”
After the incident the remaining matches of the tournament were cancelled. MP sports department officers and sports minister Jitu Patwari reached Hoshangabad.
Patwari said, “They were all promising players and an inquire would be conducted to know why the sportspersons were allowed to leave Hoshangabad for a birthday party.”
Chief minister Kamla Nath announced Rs 7 lakh ex-gratia each to kin of the deceased.