West Bengal: 10 teenage pilgrims die after pickup van gets electrocuted

Kolkata, Aug 02: At least 10 pilgrims, each of them in their teens, died and 14 others were injured in West Bengal's Cooch Behar district, after a pickup van carrying passengers en route to neighbouring Jalpaiguri got electrocuted, police said on Monday.

The incident took place late on Sunday, when the vehicle with around 37 passengers onboard, was travelling towards Maynaguri area in Jalpaiguri district, they said.

"The pickup van was electrocuted possibly due to the wiring system of the generator being exposed to heavy rainfall," a senior police officer said.

The deceased have been identified as Subhankar Barman, Badal Barman, Vishal Tirkey, Bivash Barman, Bikram Baishya, Bapi Barman, Laxman Barman, Manab Barman, Sushanta Barman and Swapan Barman. They had hired a pickup van from Sitalkuchi to visit Jalpesh. They had rented a speaker system, connected to a generator. It was raining, and it is being surmised that the rainwater caused the system to short circuit, which led to the electrocution.

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The injured have been admitted to hospital, he said, adding, the passengers were mostly from Sitalkuchi area of Cooch Behar district.

Further investigation is underway, the officer added.

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