Staff Reporter

BHUBANESWAR: At least five persons were killed and 12 others critically injured when a cement-laden truck hit a passenger truck from behind at Jankia, about 40 km from here on Friday.

Pradip Panigrahi, legislator representing Gopalpur Assembly constituency in Ganjam district, was attacked by local people near the accident site when his personal security officer reportedly fired two blank shots.

Though injured persons were immediately brought to Khurda government hospital, five persons were declared dead. Condition of other passengers was stated to be serious. The deceased were identified as Ganesh Pradhan, his brother Annirudha Pradhan, Bansidhar Behera, Bhaku Ranjit and Markand Chinara.

Following the accident local people came to block the road. As a result, vehicles could not move from both the side. Sources said Mr. Panigrahi was going to Gopalpur and his vehicle got stranded due to agitation by local people.

A heated exchange of words between PSO of MLA and agitating people led to tension. It probably prompted the PSO to fire blank shots, said local sources.

People who were already angry over the accident got furious. They beat the MLA and PSO.