10 killed as car falls off bridge into drain near Amritsar
Returning from a wedding through fog, 10 people of a family, including nine from a Ferozepur village, were killed when their car edged off a bridge that has no crash wall. The accident occurred on Tuesday morning at Chandigarh Abadi village near Ajnala in this district.punjab Updated: Nov 19, 2013 23:49 IST
Returning from a wedding through fog, 10 people of a family, including nine from a Ferozepur village, were killed when their car edged off a bridge that has no crash wall. The accident occurred on Tuesday morning at Chandigarh Abadi village near Ajnala in this district.
As the Tata Indica car fell into a drain below, all people inside were killed on the spot. They include women and children. The road accident happened around 6.15am when nine people in the car were on way to Ramdas to catch a train to their village, and Inderjit Singh (19), a relative from Chandigarh Abadi, was driving them to the station.
Besides, Inderjit, the other victims are Baldev Singh (60), Kuldeep Kaur (32), Rajwinder Kaur (17), Palwinder Singh (9), Mandeep Kaur (13), Jasbir Kaur (30), Kulwinder Kaur (30), Karamjit Kaur (8), and Gurlal Singh (7). Baldev Singh was maternal uncle of Gurbhej Singh (son of Chandigarh Abadi village sarpanch, Jaspal Singh), whose wedding was on Monday.
The car had started in dense fog over the border village 55 kilometres from Amritsar near Ajnala and come over a narrow bridge with clear deck (the crash wall was damaged some time ago). Villagers out for morning walk saw the accident happening. "My father and I were first to raise an alarm," said eyewitness Gurjant Singh.
The villagers used tractors to tug the car out of the drain, and smashed the front screen to take all the bodies out. The operation took more than an hour.
Gora, cousin of victim Inderjit, was in shock. "In a few minutes of his leaving the house to drop the others to the railway station, came the news of the accident. By the time we reached the spot, everything was finished," said Gora.
The bodies were brought back to the house of sarpanch Jaspal Singh, where a wedding had just got over. These were, later, sent to the victims' home. Except Inderjit Singh, the rest of the victims belonged to Ferozepur's Akku Maste Kee village.
"On the bereaved family's request to the district administration, no autopsy was conducted," said Sub-inspector Harpal Singh, station house officer of Ramdas.
Officials of the Amritsar administration also visited the scene of accident and, later, the house of sarpanch Jaspal Singh.
The drain into which the car fell joins the Ravi river. The panchayat had built the bridge.
Village in mourning
Ferozepur: Akku Maste Kee, a village 15 kilometres from here, lost nine of its people, including five children, in the Tuesday-morning road accident in Amritsar district.
When the bodies were lowered from a vehicle, even the children gathered around broke into in wails. Manjit Singh Narang, deputy commissioner of Ferozepur, was there.
In the tragedy, Balwinder Singh of the village lost his wife, Kuldeep, and children Rajwinder, Palwinder and Mandeep. His brother, Sukhdev, also lost his wife and children. A huge crowd gathered at the funeral.
Shiromaini Akali Dal legislator Joginder Singh Jindu and Congress legislator Parminder Singh Pinki expressed shock over the tragedy.
CM expresses shock
Chandigarh: Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday expressed shock over the death of 10 people in a road accident near near Ajnala in Amritsar district. The victims include two women and five children. The CM announced a compensation of 1 lakh for each death, besides other required assistance, to the next of the kin of the victims. Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal and revenue and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia also conveyed their condolences to the bereaved family.