NEW DELHI

Nine from Delhi killed in accident

NEW DELHI, FEB. 26 .In a horrific accident, nine young men from Delhi were killed when their Toyota Qualis rammed the central verge of the road, hit a tree and fell into a ditch at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh in the wee hours of Thursday. The police suspect that the driver was under the influence of liquor.

It all happened around 2-30 a.m. when the young men were returning to Delhi after attending a marriage at Khurja in Bulandshahr district of UP. They were at Lal Kuan in Vijay Nagar when the driver, Praveen, apparently lost control and rammed the car into the road divider at great speed. Due to the impact of the collision, the vehicle was dragged some distance after which it hit a tree and then fell into the ditch along the road.

The occupants, six of whom have been identified as Praveen, Rocky, Anil Sharma, Vikash, Vishal and Kamal, sustained severe injuries and were rushed to Ganesh Hospital. Nine of them were declared dead on arrival, while a tenth, Pankaj Sinha, was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

Pankaj, who was shifted from the ICU to the general ward in the evening, told the police that he and his friends were returning from a marriage ceremony when the accident took place. Most of the deceased were from Rohini in North-West Delhi.

Yet to recover from the shock of having lost all his close friends, Pankaj recalled that Praveen was driving very rashly at great speed. When the vehicle hit the central verge, it was allegedly travelling at 120 km per hour. Investigations revealed that Praveen lost control over the vehicle after he dozed off. The Ghaziabad police have taken the statements of the people present in a dhaba near the scene of the accident to reconstruct the sequence of events.

After registering a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving, the police informed the families of the deceased. The relatives alleged that the driver was already drunk when he came to fetch the young men on Wednesday morning. Scared that Praveen might land them in trouble, two of the friends of the deceased, Sunil and Sanjay, had refused to travel back to Delhi with them.

The mortal remains of the deceased were handed over to their families on Thursday afternoon. The residents of Rohini Sector-17 mourned the death of their young neighbours Rocky, Anil and Vikash. They said Anil, who ran a chemist's shop, was to get married soon.

They recalled that the entire group was in a festive mood when they set out from Delhi to attend the marriage of one of their friends.