Woman killed, six persons injured as tanker rams cars, crashes into shops after brake fails

A 56-year-old woman was killed and six persons were injured when an oil tanker collided with two cars, and then went on to crash into three shops on the narrow stretch of Mangalore-Moodbidiri Road (National Highway 169) in Gurupura on Wednesday.

According to eye witnesses, the tanker, carrying furnace oil, coming to the city from Moodbidri hit two cars one after the another and came to a halt after hitting the compound wall of a hotel and a tailoring shop, damaging its roof.

Sunita Kamat (56), a resident of R.D. Nagar in Kasaragod, who was walking towards a temple after alighting from a bus was hit. She died on her way to hospital. Another woman Radha K. Hegde (57), a resident of Car Street in Mangalore, who was also walking towards a temple, injured her legs when a portion of the compound wall collapsed on her. She was taken to the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Mallikatta. Five other injured persons, including four in the second car, were admitted to two private hospitals.

In a flash

“It all happened in a flash,” said Ramesh Bhat, owner of a bakery shop opposite the place of accident. Mr. Bhat said the tanker driver was heard screaming that the brakes of his vehicle had failed. “The area was covered with huge amount of dust and I had to roll down shutters. It was terrifying,” said Mr. Bhat. The first car that was hit careened into a photocopying shop owned by Srinivas Kotian.

Anand Sapaliga, the tailor, whose shop was damaged, said he had little time to react. “I saw the tanker coming toward my shop. I moved inside only to see a portion of the roof fall. I ran outside in fear,” he said.

Venkataramana from Golitottu near Puttur, who was driving the second car, was returning to the city from Kateel with his wife, son and daughter. “I could not realise what happened as it all occurred in a quick succession,” he said. Mr. Venkataramana’s vehicle was badly damaged. He has suffered injury on his eye and hand. His wife Sujatha (31), son Sripad (17) and Madhura (13) have injuries on their hand, back and legs.

Kusappa Poojary from Vogga has been admitted in a private hospital with head injury. It was immediately not clear how he got injured.

Traffic movement on this busy road came to a halt for nearly an hour. Fire and Emergency Services personnel arrived at the spot to remove the two cars. Police had to take services of a crane to move the damaged tanker to a side. Deputy Commissioner of Police K.V. Jagadeesh said the driver of the tanker ran away after the incident.

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