At least eight persons of a marriage party died and over 20 others injured when a pick-up van carrying them rammed into a tree and overturned on a hilly road at Amtala in Belpahari in West Medinipur district.
The accident happened on Thursday morning when the van was travelling to Dulki village from Barokadam village in Purulia district, Superintendent of Police Sukhendu Hira said .
Six persons died on the spot while two others died on the way to Jhargram district hospital. Among the deceased was a minor, Ananda Hansda (15), and the driver of the van.
The injured were taken to Belpahari Health Centre and later transferred to Jhargram District Hospital. One of the injured is critical, said sources.
Eyewitnesses said the vehicle was travelling at breakneck speed in the dense forest areas of Tamajuri when it lost control trying to avoid another vehicle coming from the opposite direction. The bride, Shyamali Kisku, and the groom, Shyamal Murmu, were safe as they were travelling in another vehicle ahead of the pick-up van. “It will take a long time to sink in. Things changed in a matter of minutes. The priority now is to bring back the bodies than observing rituals of the wedding,” Shyamal said.