Monday, Feb 12, 2024 10:00 [IST]
Last Update: Monday, Feb 12, 2024 04:27 [IST]
GANGTOK,: Three persons were killed and 20 persons hospitalized with injuries of various degrees when a tanker apparently lost control and rammed into the Mela crowd at Ranipool truck stand on Saturday late evening.
The unfortunate casualties - two male and one female had ventured out to spend their evening at the Mela when they along with others were mowed down by the tanker at around 7:15 pm. The two fatalities are from East Sikkim while the third victim was from Jaigaon, Alipurduar of North Bengal.
More lives and limbs were saved as the tanker first hit a row of parked taxis that reduced its impact to some extent before crushing the Mela gathering.
Police have taken into custody the accused driver and registered a criminal case against him. The accused driver, aged about 24 years, is said to be a Nepal citizen presently residing in Mangan.
Immediately after the carnage, the locals along with police rushed the victims and survivors to the Central Referral Hospital (CRH), Manipal at Tadong.
As per the CRH, two victims were brought dead and one person succumbed to his injuries in the hospital despite best efforts to save him by the critical care team of doctors. Two victims are in critical condition and under treatment by a team of surgical and orthopaedic surgeons. Other survivors are under observation and treatment, said the hospital management.
Chief Minister PS Golay has expressed his deep sadness on the tragic accident at Ranipool and announced that all treatment expenses of the victims at CRH or referred cases will be covered by the State government. We are committed to providing every possible support during this difficult time, he said.
“My thoughts are with the injured and their families, and I sincerely pray for their swift recovery. I also extend my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this tragedy, and I pray for the departed souls to rest in eternal peace,” said the Chief Minister.
On Sunday morning, Chief Minister’s additional political secretary Tshering Wangchuk Lepcha under the Chief Minister’s direction visited the CRH and took stock of the victims’ conditions and treatment. He interacted with the hospital management and the victims during his visit.
The tanker which hit the Mela crowd had ‘Sikkim Milk Union’ written on its body.
However, the Sikkim Milk Union clarified that the tanker had been auctioned by the union in 2022 itself to a Ranipool resident.
Sikkim Milk Union MD Dr. TB Ghatani told SIKKIM EXPRESS said the tanker which crashed into the Ranipool Mela crowd is not owned by the Union.
“Sikkim Milk Union had auctioned the particular tanker a year ago to a private party. The owner had not removed the logo of Sikkim Milk Union after the ownership was transferred from Sikkim Milk Union,” said Dr. Ghatani when contacted by SIKKIM EXPRESS.