Kolkata, July 04: Eleven persons, including three women, were killed and as many injured when a speeding minibus skidded off the Bankim Setu flyover while attempting to overtake another and fell 40 feet below on railway tracks at Howrah station here on Saturday.
Eight persons were killed on the spot and three died in hospital when the minibus from Sankrail near Nazirganj rammed into the railing of the flyover while racing against another minubus and fell onto railway tracks between platform numbers 11 and 12, the police said.
There was a loud screeching sound as the vehicle plunged off the flyover and hit the overhead traction wires sending sparks flying before overturning. As it fell on the tracks, its roof was torn off, an eyewitness said.
"I saw the minibus smash through the railings of the
flyover and then fall on the overhead power lines before
hitting one of the platforms and fall on the tracks,"
Kanhayiya, a railway worker, told reporters at Howrah station.
Train services at the Howrah station were disrupted for some time.
The roof of the bus, which landed on the tracks, was
completely torn off with the wreckage strewn around on the
Shoes, sneakers and water bottles of passengers lay
scattered in the area as gas cutters were used to clear the
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee visited the injured at the hospital.
"I am deeply shocked over the accident in which nine persons lost their lives. It is very sad," Banerjee told reporters when she visited the injured at the Howrah General hospital.
She also suggested that the commission system in buses and mini buses for conductors and drivers should be done away with to avert speeding. "People's lives should not be played with for paltry commission," she said.
First Published: Saturday, July 04, 2009, 17:37