Four people died and four others were injured after a car ran over pedestrians before smashing into the wall of Cafe Janata in Crawford Market on Monday night. The car driver, identified as Sameer Diggy, also sustained injuries.
Of the four dead, three succumbed on the spot. The four have been identified as Saroja Naidu (65), Zubeda Abdul Khan (60), Saira Banu (60), and Mohamed Naeem (55). The four injured and the driver Diggy are under treatment at JJ hospital.
According to the police, Diggy had three months ago been booked in another car accident by the JJ Marg police, when he had rammed into a truck. There were no casualties.
Asad Qureshi, a passerby, said sometime after 9 pm, he saw a white Maruti Esteem speeding towards the JJ flyover from Metro Cinema signal. It first hit two women near Sadanand hotel in Crawford market. “The car was at such a high speed, it dragged the two women till Cafe Janata, where it smashed into the wall,” Qureshi, a mobile shop owner, said. The car jumped onto the footpath before crashing into the restaurant’s wall. The impact was so strong that the entire wall collapsed.
The first two women to be hit were Naidu, who was walking near Sadanand hotel, and Banu, a pavement dweller. According to eyewitnesses, when the car mounted the pavement, it hit Zubeda, having tea at a shop, and Naeem, walking on the pavement.
A Cafe Janata employee said, “We were preparing food in the kitchen, when the incident took place. I rushed outside to see debris of the building falling and people gathered around the car.”
At the time of going to press, the Pydhonie police was in process of registering a car against Diggy.
Among the injured are Nadeem Ansari (40), Kamlesh Singh (18), Mustakeen Shah and Mohammed Hanif Jailnul (41). Jainul works at the Cafe Janata, His colleagues said he was standing on the footpath when the car hit him.
Mustakeen Shah said, “I work in Crawford market. When I was heading home along with my brother, a car suddenly came from behind and hit me. I was thrown a few metres away and fell unconscious. My brother rushed me to JJ hospital, where I regained consciousness.”
Ameena Bibi, a local resident, said, “I saw the car’s bonnet hit Saira (deceased). She was dragged on this stretch of the road.”
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