Oct. 27: Two persons died and nine suffered injuries when a Siliguri-bound Tata Sumo fell 300-feet below into a gorge along NH31A today.
The dead have been identified as Sentu Poddar, 25, of Shantinagar in Siliguri and Rita Rai of Nepal, 57.
Police said the incident occurred at 27th Mile around 1pm when the driver of the vehicle carrying 10 passengers lost control while negotiating a bend just above a NHPC Teesta Low Dam Project site. “We are trying to ascertain if the accident occurred because of mechanical failure or over-speed. Had a tree not come on its way, the jeep could have plunged down even further and the consequences would have been worse,” said an officer.
Of the injured, Nazimuddin, 28, a resident of Bihar, escaped with only minor injuries. “He was administered first aid at the primary health centre in Rambi but he is in a state of shock,” said the officer.
Meena Sharma, 28, and her 10-year-old son Ganesh from Salugarah, near Siliguri, are under treatment at the Kalimpong subdivisional hospital. “The mother has received knee and hip injuries, while the boy has injured his scalp and suffered a cut below the armpit,” said hospital superintendent Suva Ratna Pradhan.
Santosh Pradhan, 31, and driver Ranjit Tamang, 28, both from Singtam in Sikkim, have been admitted to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri.
Mithun Ghosh, 24, of Shantipara in New Jalpaiguri and Ranjit Mandal, 32, of Jalpai More in Siliguri, are under treatment in a Siliguri nursing home, while Rajen Tamang and Asok Tamang are in a hospital in Siliguri.