A truck operator was killed and at least 20 injured, three of them critically, in a collision involving a private bus and a truck at Bevinja locality close to Cherkala near here on Thursday, police said.

The accident occurred around 7.45 am when the truck proceeding towards Mangalore collided with the private bus plying on the Kasaragod-Mananthavadi route as it tried to overtake another vehicle while on a curve in the Cherkala ghat section of the national highway.

Driver of the truck Nagaraj Daula (30), a native of Hubli was killed on the spot while the other truck crew sustained grievous injuries, police said.

The body of Mr. Daula is at the General Hospital here. The cabin of the truck and the front portion of the bus suffered extensive damage, injuring several bus passengers, who are being treated at hospitals in Kasaragod, Kanhangad and Mangalore.

The traffic on the busy national highway was disrupted for over an hour as the police fire force personnel and the locals initiated timely rescue efforts.

The Vidyanagar police said they could not immediately account for the exact number of the injured as they were admitted in various hospitals.

Conman arrested

A 28-year-old man from Jharkhand was arrested by Moodbidri police for allegedly cheating diploma students of money by promising jobs in National Thermal Power Corporation.

The police said Mihit Kumar claiming to be representative of M.M. Sairam HR Consulting Firm held a campus interview at a polytechnic college a month ago. He had collected Rs. 20,000 each from 30 diploma students by promising a job in the NTPC. When they did not get any job, Rakshit, a student, filed a complaint with the police a few days ago.

Kumar was brought to Moodbidri on Thursday and was remanded to 15 days of judicial custody.

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