Five persons — including four members of a family — died in two separate accidents in the district since Monday night.

Around 10.50 p.m. on Monday, a KSRTC bus — headed for Mangalore from Bangalore — collided with an oncoming autorickshaw with seven persons on the Nethravati Bridge (National Highway 75) at Panemangalore. In the mash up, four persons were killed, and three others seriously injured, said the Bantwal Town Police. The autorickshaw driver, Bhaskar (47), wife Prema (35), his brother Jagadish (37), and Jagadish’s wife Supriya (29) died on the spot.

Bhaskar’s children Abignya (8), Prajna (3) and Jagadish’s son Nishan (4) were admitted to a private hospital nearby. Police said Nishan was in a critical condition.

In his complaint, Jayantha, who was following his brothers in another autorickshaw, said they were returning to their house in Barimar after a family function in Sarapady in Bantwal taluk.

A large number of residents from Panemangalore and surrounding areas gathered at the spot and helped extract the children and bodies from the mangled autorickshaw. Tension prevailed for a while when residents attempted to set the bus on fire. The bus driver and conductor fled from the scene.

KSRTC Divisional Traffic Officer (Puttur) Ramanagowda said the autorickshaw was overtaking another vehicle on the two-lane road when it crashed into the bus.

The driver of the bus had put in nearly five years behind the wheels, he said, and added KSRTC had started a probe.

Pedestrian killed

Around 11.15 a.m. on Tuesday, Mohiuddin Kunhi (50), a resident of Manjeshwar who had come to the city earlier in the day to visit his sister at a hospital, was crossing the road at Valencia Circle when a bus chassis that was taking a turn fatally knocked him down, said the Mangalore Traffic East Police Station.

In both accidents, the drivers of the vehicles were yet to be charged.

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