Five killed, over 200 injured in 3 collisions

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Palanpur, Sep 25 (UNI) As many as five persons were killed and more than 200 injured in three road mishaps here since last night during Ambaji mela.

Two buses collided head-on near Trishuliya Ghat, in which one woman was killed. The woman, Reshma Parbaji Thakore, along with her husband, was on way to the mela from Mehsana. Her husband was injured and has been admitted to civil hospital here along with 60 others. About 20 persons were admitted to a hospital in Danta.

In another incident near Sidhpur, a speeding bus whose breaks had failed, rammed into a stationary bus on a bridge and fell into a river, leading to the death of a 13-year-old boy and a woman, and injuries to more than 100 passengers on board.

The boy was identified as Rahul Prahaladji of Barsana village in Visnagar taluka of Mehsana, while the woman as Geetaben Ratuji Thakore.

About 50 injured have been shifted to Mehsana hospital, while others who sustained minor injuries were admitted to Sidhapur Civil Hospital.

In the third mishap, two persons were killed and more than 20 injured in a collision involving a State Transport bus on Danta Ambaji road.

The deceased were identified as Dineshbhai (23) of Kundal village in Danta taluka and Rasikbhai Pandya of Vithur village in Mehsana district.

According to a passenger of the ill-fated bus, ''majority of the victims who sustained major injuries were travelling on the rooftop. After the collision, all of them fell down from the roof.'' The NGOs, however, held the ST department responsible for running the buses without proper maintenance for the huge mela, where about two million people visit the shrine.

When contacted, district collector Hareet Shukla who is also the chairman of the Ambaji Temple Trust, said ''In comparison to last year's 1100 buses, this year they are plying 1500. However, on yesterday night, the frequency was about 600 buses for Ambaji.

However, the rescue was prompt. One Deputy Superintendent of Police rushed to the spot and cleared the traffic within half an hour of the mishap.

UNI

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