The car hit the divider when the driver tried to avoid colliding with a herd of nilgai on the Yamuna Expressway. Ten members belonging to two related families were returning to Firozabad when the accident took place. Authorities said accidents caused by nilgai are not common on the high-speed stretch.
Four people, including two minors, were killed and six others seriously injured after their car hit the divider when the driver tried to avoid colliding with a herd of nilgai on the Yamuna Expressway early on Tuesday. Authorities said accidents caused by nilgai are not common on the high-speed stretch, with the last one reported more than a couple of years ago.
Ten members belonging to two related families were returning to Firozabad after attending an engagement ceremony in Delhi when the accident took place near the 116th milestone in Mathura district at 1 am. The injured, who hailed from Etawah and Firoza bad districts, were hospitalised in Mathura, while the bodies of the deceased were sent for a postmortem.
Those who died included seven-year-old Kanhaiya Kumar, his father Shobhit Kumar, 30, 17-year-old Sarathi Kumari and her father Santosh Kumar, 39. According to the police, the four died on their way to hospital. The injured were identified as Satya Dev, Karan Singh, Vinod Kumar, Palak, Kailash Narayan and Baichelal.
Vinod Kumar, who sustained injuries, told TOI, “We were heading towards Firozabad via expressway when suddenly a herd of nilgais came in front of our speeding car. In an attempt to avoid collision, when the driver made a sharp turn, the car turned turtle and rammed into the divider.”
Gyanendra Sharma, a subinspector at Mahavan station, who took the victims to hospital in an ambulance, said, “The private concessionaire of the expressway has put up signboards indicating possible movement of nilgais in the area. Besides, barbed wires have also been installed on both sides of the expressway to prevent antelopes from trespassing on the road.Nilgais are still spotted on the stretch which sometimes results in road accidents.
A senior official of the expressway’s private concessionaire, however, said, “This was the first such accident caused by nilgais in more than a couple of years. Frequency of their presence has reduced in the area, especially near the expressway , due to human movement.We have proper barbed wire fencing along the stretch and have also installed signboards.”
Sources claimed local villagers have cut the barbed wire fencing at various points. Anil Kumar Patel, former district forest officer of Chambal region, said, “Presence of nilgais in Mathura, Agra, Firozabad, Kasganj, Etah, Aligarh, Mainpuri and towards the Awadh region is common. A couple of years ago over a dozen nilgais were killed when one of their herds was mowed down by a speeding train in Kasganj area.”