Thirteen people, including five women, were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in collided with a truck near Chandmari in Punjab’s Fazilka on Friday. Police said that the vehicle carrying 13 teachers rammed into the truck when its driver tried to overtake another vehicle in dense fog. “All 13, including the driver, died on the spot,” said Fazilka DSP Shabeg Singh. A critically-injured teacher, Gopi Ram, was battling for life at the Faridkot Medical College.
The teachers, who would pool a car to travel to their schools, were identified as Kiran Bala, Nitasha, Binti Rani, Tejinder Kaur, Sanjeev Bhagla, Ashish Kataria, Sukhjeet Singh, Ram Pal, Sheetal Kukkad, Manohar Lal, Nazam Singh and Shankar Lal.
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Fazilka Civil Hospital’s Senior Medical Officer Dr Rajesh Sharma said that the deceased had suffered multiple injuries. He added that the injured teacher appeared to have a chest injury.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal expressed shock over the accident and directed the district administration to extend support to the distressed families of the deceased and best treatment for the injured teacher.
Education minister Daljit Singh Cheema, who rushed to Fazilka to attend last rites of the deceased, promised jobs on compassionate grounds for the kin of the deceased.