Reported by Malay Ray
Rourkela, Feb 24:
In a tragic incident, a newly married couple was among seven members of a marriage party killed in a road accident at Lathikata on the outskirts of Rourkela on National Highway No 143 in Odisha’s Sundargarh district this morning.
The accident happened when a speeding dumper (No O-16-B-4421) going from Rourkela side hit the Maruti Ertiga car (No OR-14E-0819) carrying the marriage party from the Fertiliser Township, which was returning from Brahmapur, head on early this morning.
While two persons, including the bride died on the spot, five others, including the bridegroom, died in the hospital.
The two seriously injured members were first rushed to the Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH) from where they were later shifted to Ispat General Hospital (IGH) where their condition was stated to be critical.
The seven killed in the accident have been identified as the bride Sunita Panda, her sister Sujata, the groom Sushanta Rath, his sister-in-law Shanti Rath, niece Jhumuri Rath (4), driver Sushanta Giri and photographer Ramananda Mishra.
It took several hours before the bodies of the bride and the driver could be extricated from the vehicle using gas cutters.
Cries of wailing rent the air when the news of the mishap reached the bridegroom’s home, which is barely a 10-minute drive from the spot where the accident took place. Members of the groom’s family, who were wiating to welcome the bride, were shattered at the news of the death of the bride and the groom. A pall of gloom has descended the locality.
Heart rending scenes were also witnessed at the bride’s home in Brahmapur.
Meanwhile, police have sent the bodies for post mortem and begun investigation into the incident. Efforts are on to trace out the dumper and the driver who fled the area soon after the incident.
“We are now searching for the driver of the dumper. We will nab him very soon,” said MK Swain, IIC, Lathikata police station.
The locals here have alleged that there have been frequent road accidents in this area. They also said since January till date, 25 people have been killed in road accident on NH-143 and State Highway-10 in Sundargarh district. They have urged the police to take remedial measures to control and regulate the traffic on these highways.