Sangrur — Seventeen persons were killed and 63 injured when two buses had a head-on collision on the Sangrur-Barnala highway, about 4 km from here on Thursday afternoon.

While 11 persons, including two women died on the spot, five succumbed to injuries in the civil hospital here where the injured were evacuated, and one person reportedly died while he was being taken to Barnala.

The accident took place when a bus belonging to the Bilaspur Bus Service (PNC 9385) going from Sangrur to Barnala, and a PEPSU Roadways bus of Bhatinda depot (PJG 7283) on its way to Chandigarh, rammed into each another at about 12:30 p.m. near Badrukhan village. Eyewitnesses said that the private bus lost control and hit the

PEPSU bus, which was coming at great speed. Both the drivers, Mewa Singh and Mukhtiar Singh, were among those who died on the spot.

The front portions of both buses were totally wrecked and the dead had to be pulled out after breaking some windows of the two buses, particularly the private bus from which eight dead bodies were taken out.

The scene of accident was a ghastly sight with the inside of the buses littered with blood stains and belongings of the victims. Pieces of glass and some parts of the buses and oil were seen all over the place, where a large crowd continued to gather till late evening.

Dr. Ram Lal, civil surgeon of the hospital here, said that he and his staff were attending a meeting when they got news of the accident. At least 10 vehicles were dispatched to the spot to evacuate the victims, while medical staff from the nearby places of Sunam and Malerkotla was summoned for help. Of the 63 persons referred to the hospital with injuries, a few were allowed to go home after treatment. The conditions of about one dozen were serious.

Till late on Thursday evening, bodies of eight persons had been identified. Besides the two drivers, the remaining six are: Tej Kaur of Badrukhan village, Sham Lal of Sangrur, Gurmail Singh and Surjit Singh of ISI village, Jaswant Kaur of Dhanaula and Harvinder Kumar of Barnala.

The police had a tough controlling the crowd at the hospital where anxious inquiries literally swarmed the place.

Article extracted from this publication >>  April 26, 1985