Five people, including a senior journalist, were charred to death on Tuesday after their car caught fire on colliding with a tanker truck carrying diesel on the Yamuna Expressway near Uttar Pradesh’s Agra
The deadly Yamuna Expressway saw yet another accident in the early hours of the morning when a Delhi-bound car from Lucknow collided with a container truck near the Khandoli toll plaza in Agra.
The collision was so severe that the car caught fire and all five people in the car, including senior Lucknow journalist Murli Manohar Saroj were burned to death, trapped inside the wreckage.
According to the eyewitnesses who were present on the accident spot, the collision happened at around 4:15 am on Tuesday, when the container truck started to take a U-turn on the expressway.
The Delhi-bound car which had Saroj and his wife, mother-in-law and sister-in-law, along with Saroj’s friend Sandeep, slammed into the truck from the side.
The diesel tank of the truck burst open from the collision and spilt all over the car’s bonnet, setting it on fire.
Saroj was going to Delhi for his treatment.
Expressway toll-in charge Major Manish Kumar (Retd.) said that an E-way bill was found in the container truck which stated that the truck was carrying Amazon consignments from Jaipur to West Bengal.
The container driver left the truck and fled the spot after the accident.
Kumar said that the passengers in the car were alive after the accident and kept shouting for help but the fire was too intense and the rescuers could not reach the car, helplessly watching the injured passengers burn to death.
The sound of the collision was heard for several hundred meters and a lot of people arrived at the spot to rescue the injured but there was nothing they could do.
Prima facie the accident was caused due to a navigational error by the driver of the container truck, who climbed the Yamuna Expressway ramp instead of the Lucknow Expressway and then decided to take a U-turn on the Expressway.
A car mechanic who was present on the spot said that the injured passengers could have climbed out of the car if the central locking mechanism hadn’t jammed the doors. The ECM of the car fused immediately after the accident and the doors and windows became locked.
He said that the only option left for the passengers was to break the windows of the car but they could not find anything to break the glass.
He said that very few people are aware that the headrests in the cars are equipped with a pointed spike for the purpose of breaking the glass. If the injured passengers had known this fact, they could have removed a headrest and broke the glass with it.
The deceased journalist Saroj was an original resident of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh and was also married in the same district. He was presently posted in Lucknow.