Bonai (Sundergarh): In a tragic road mishap, four students of an English medium school were crushed to death while eight others were left battling for life after an auto-rickshaw ferrying them was hit by a tipper. The auto-rickshaw driver also died in the mishap.
The horrific incident was witnessed on the Soyambha-Motuhanuman road under K Balang police limits in Sundargarh district when the students were returning home from the school.
The deceased students were identified as Salami Munda (5), daughter of Chiram Munda of Motuhanuman village, Anup Munda (6), son of Ajit Munda, Ranjit Munda (8), son of Tuma Munda and Salim Munda (5). The auto-rickshaw driver was identified as Sukuram Mundari. While three students died on the spot, Salim scuccumbed to his injuries at a hospital. Among the injured were Gabriel Munda (6), son of Patrabash Munda, Suraj Munda (7), son of Duka Munda of Mothuhanuman, Ankit Munda (7), son of Ajit Munda, Atma Munda (5), son of Laiman Munda, Markel Munda (5), son of Jara Munda, Netak Munda (5), son of Naiman Munda of Purunapani village, Sachin Ekka (7) and Simon Munda (6) of Badabali village.
Locals rescued the injured and admitted them to Lahunipara community health centre (CHC). After preliminary treatment, they were shifted to Rourkela Government Hospital. The injured were again shifted to the Ispat General Hospital (IGH) as their condition worsened. The incident triggered tension in the area. Locals placed the bodies on the main road and staged a demonstration blaming the administration for sitting pretty even as school students are being precariously ferried in over-crowded auto-rickshaws. Vehicular movement came to a standstill due to the blockade with hundreds of vehicles remaining stranded on either side of the road.
Police reached the spot and tried to pacify the mob. The agitators flayed the authorities concerned for allowing students to travel on auto-rickshaws. They accused the officials of not checking on vehicles carrying school children in risky condition. Police brought the situation under control and seized the vehicles. A case was registered and a manhunt was launched to arrest the absconding tipper driver.