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Chhattisgarh: 11 people killed, 12 injured in pickup van-truck collision

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RAIPUR, Feb 24 (PTI): Eleven people, including four children, were killed when the pick-up van they were travelling in collided with a truck in Chhattisgarh’s Balodabazar-Bhatapara district, police said on Friday.

A dozen others were injured in the accident near Khamariya village under Bhatapara police station area, located around 70 km away from capital Raipur, on Balodabazar-Bhatapara road late Thursday night, they said.

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Officials said the kin of each deceased will get a cumulative ex-gratia of Rs 6 lakh as per the amount announced by the central and state governments, while the injured will get an aid of Rs 1.5 lakh each, officials said.

The victims, natives of Khilora village in Simga area, were returning home after attending a family function in Arjuni area when the pick-vehicle collided head on with the truck, Balodabazar-Bhatapara Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar Jha told PTI.

“Eleven persons, including four children, died in the accident, while 12 others sustained injuries. The condition of two of them is critical,” he said.

The two critically-injured persons were shifted to a hospital in capital Raipur, while 10 others were admitted to Balodabazar district hospital, he said.

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The bodies have been sent for post-mortem, he added.

Efforts are on to trace the truck driver who fled from the spot leaving his vehicle behind, he added.

Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has expressed grief over the incident and directed the district administration officials to provide all possible assistance to the kin of the deceased and best medical care to the injured.

Announcing the financial assistance to victims, Baghel tweeted, “The kin of deceased in the accident will get an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each and the injured will get Rs 1 lakh each. We are all together in this painful moment.”

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In a tweet posted by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), PM Modi said, “Pained by the loss of lives due to an accident in Balodabazar-Bhatapara district, Chhattisgarh. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon.”

“An ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF (Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund) would be given to the next of kin of each deceased in the accident in Balodabazar-Bhatapara district. The injured would be given Rs 50,000,” the PM said in another tweet.

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