Thirteen people were killed and 18 others injured when a vehicle collided with a truck on Tuesday night in West Bengal. The accident occurred in Dhupguri city of Jalpaiguri district, and officials say reduced visibility due to foggy weather caused it. The injured are being treated at a nearby hospital.
"A vehicle collided head-on with a boulder-loaded truck whose driver lost control of the vehicle and hit the divider, crashing to its right. Two other vehicles coming from the wrong side then rammed into the truck; this caused the boulders to fall onto them. Another small lorry in front of the truck was also damaged. In all, four vehicles got damaged," Sumant Roy, assistant superintendent of police, Jalpaiguri, said. He added that the driver of the truck had survived the accident and been detained.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the families of those who died in the accident. The injured will be given Rs 50,000 each, the PMO Twitter handle informed, quoting the PM.
"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," he was quoted as saying.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too took to Twitter, writing she was saddened by the loss of lives. "Condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for a speedy recovery of those injured," she wrote in English and Bengali.
Further details are awaited.