ACCIDENT WATCH: 11 kids hurt as car rams into school van – Child worry on street and at home – hit and run driver – difficult to nab, but a ‘van-auto rickshaw’ or a ‘death trap’, stupid parents and “even more careless and look the other way” administration ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Alipurduar, Dec. 2: Eleven students of a kindergarten school were injured when the van-rickshaw in which they were going to school fell into a roadside ditch after being hit by a car this morning.
Five of the injured — Papai Sarkar, 8, Mantu Sohel Das, 4, Sanchita Das, 4, Srila, 3, and Ria Pandit, 5 — have been admitted to the Alipurduar subdivisional hospital. The rest were released after first aid.
The incident has revealed how school conveyance, often overloaded, plies without permits. It also points finger to the helplessness of the children and the parents. In Calcutta, frequent accidents involving pool cars in recent times forced the government to launch a crackdown on such vehicles last month.
Around 10.30am, the students of Sister Nivedita Kindergarten and Primary School at Aurobindanagar here were going to the institution in Dulal Roy’s van-rickshaw. A car, while trying to overtake the three-wheeler that was coming from Ghagra on the outskirts of the town, rammed into it from behind, pushing it off about 10ft below to a ditch.
Bishnu Kumar Karji, a high school teacher who was passing by the area, helped rescue the children. “The van-rickshaw was on the left side of the road. After the mishap, I broke the wooden frames and brought out the children. They were crying ‘Uncle, please save us. We cannot breathe properly’,” he said.
The teacher arranged an autorickshaw for the children and took them to hospital.
School principal Torsha Goswami said the institution would bear the medical expenses of the injured: “I have asked the doctor to do the necessary and we will bear all the expenses.”
Amlan Saha, the doctor who attended to the injured students in hospital, said the children suffered head injuries. “We have suggested head scan for three. One child was given four stitches on the head.”
Alipurduar subdivisional police officer David Lepcha said a complaint was lodged by the guardians against the car driver. “He is missing. We are trying to track him.”