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14 killed in Bengal road accident (Ld)

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Kolkata, Jan 20 (IANS) Fourteen people lost their lives in a road accident in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district as a boulder-loaded truck coming from the opposite direction collided head-on with a multi-purpose vehicle.

The accident took place near Dhupguri late on Tuesday due to low visibility caused by dense fog. Some 18 persons were injured in the accident and shifted to a hospital, police said. A minivan and a car also suffered major damage.

“Saddened at the loss of lives because of a bus accident in Dhupguri. Condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for a speedy recovery of those injured,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted on Wednesday morning.

According to police sources, the offending vehicle lost its control, hit the road divider and slipped towards its right side. The driver of the truck was detained. Several cranes were called in to clear the road stretch that was blocked due to the accident. Local people also came in to help in the rescue operation as police officials reached the spot.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the accident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from the PMNRF to be given to the next of kin of those who lost their lives due to the accident. An amount of Rs 50,000 each would also be given to those injured.

“The road accident in Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri (West Bengal) is extremely anguishing. In this time of sadness, prayers with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon,” Modi tweeted.

–IANS

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