Bus rams into hutment at Verna IDC; 4 labourers killed, 5 injured

Company staff in bus escape unhurt; night shift workers from nearby firms rush to offer help; alcohol test conducted on driver, report awaited

THE GOAN NETWORK | MAY 27, 2024, 01:02 AM IST
Bus rams into hutment at Verna IDC; 4 labourers killed, 5 injured

Four workers died on the spot, while four workers and a driver sustained injuries when a company-operated bus crashed into temporary hutments in a major mishap at the Verna IDC late Saturday night.

Providing details of the mishap, South Goa SP Sunita Sawant told media persons that the incident took place at about 11.30 pm when a bus was transporting about 15 employees of a company after their duties along an internal road of the Verna IDC from Titan Gate Junction towards Loutolim.

“While negotiating a turn, the driver, Bharat Govekar of Cortalim, lost control and rammed into hutments by the roadside, which were occupied by labourers from Bihar who were working for a supervisor, Mehbooh Shaikh, in the construction of gutter and other works by the roadside,” said SP Sawant.

“Eight workers, who were asleep inside the huts, were injured and four of them died in the mishap, while four others were shifted to the South Goa District Hospital at Margao.”

The deceased labourers have been identified as Vinod Singh (44), Anil Mahato (39), Ramesh Mahato (41) and Rajendra Mahato (50), while the injured are Dinesh Kumar Singh (31), Tuna Mahato, Rajesh Kumar Mandal (27) and Naresh Singh (62).

Night shift workers from nearby companies rushed to the scene to assist. Miraculously, the company staff in the bus escaped unharmed.

SP Sawant said the construction works were undertaken by the contractor Abdul Kadar, a native of Kerala but residing at Ponda, while the supervisor is Mehbooh Shaikh, a resident of Ponda.

“At the time of the accident, police noticed that the driver was smelling of alcohol. He was also injured in the mishap and he has also been admitted in hospital,” said SP Sawant.

Speaking to The Goan, SP Sawant said, “Tests on the driver was also conducted to confirm if he was drunk. A report is awaited.”

Incidentally, there was one more hutment adjacent and about 8 labourers who were also asleep, however, escaped unhurt. Verna police is investigating the case.

When contacted on Sunday night, police sources said the blood test report on the driver, Bharat Govekar (61), would be made available on Monday.

Lucky escape for 1 labourer

VASCO: A phone call proved providential for one labourer as he had left the hut moments before a bus rammed into the structure, killing four co-workers and injuring four others.

Speaking to reporters, the labourer said nine of them were staying in the hut while they were working on roadside construction works.

On Saturday night, he had left the hut to make a phone call and while he was speaking on the phone, he was horrified to see the bus ramming into the hut. Four of his co-workers were killed while four others were injured in the mishap.

He was visibly shaken after the incident as he had escaped unhurt.

Govt to blacklist contractor, sub-contractors: CM

VASCO: Describing the mishap in Verna which claimed the lives of four labourers while causing injuries to five others, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said all those responsible for the mishap would not be spared.

He added that the contractors and sub-contractors who had constructed huts by the roadside will be blacklisted.

In a message on ‘X’, Sawant stated, “accident near Commoscope company T Junction in Verna IDC, causing death & injuries is unfortunate.”

“Procedure has been started to prosecute the driver of the bus who drove under the influence of alcohol, along with the contractor and subcontractors who accommodated the labourers dangerously in the huts at the spot.”

“All accused are being charged for causing injuries and death. The government shall also blacklist the contractors and subcontractors. No one shall be spared.”

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