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Kasganj accident: 10 of family among 23 killed

There was only one man among the deceased, while the rest were women.
Last Updated 25 February 2024, 08:56 IST

Lucknow/Etah: It was the pious occasion of Maghi Poornima on Saturday and Siddhu's family residing in Nagla Kasa village in Etah district of Uttar Pradesh was going to Kasganj to take a dip in river Ganga and also perform his 'mundan'.

However, destiny had something else in store, as 10 persons of Siddhu's family lost their lives when the ill-fated tractor-trolley fell into a pond.

As many as 23 people, including 8 children, were killed in the incident which took place on Saturday morning and sent shock waves across the country.

Meanwhile, the last rites of the deceased began taking place on Sunday.

Uttar Pradesh Sugarcane Minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary, who visited Nagla Kasa village, spoke to the villagers and expressed deep shock over the loss of lives in the tragic incident.

He told PTI from Mathura on Sunday, "There was a 'mundan' ceremony of a child and his family was going to Kasganj in a tractor, which belonged to someone else...As the tractor moved towards Kasganj, other people also started getting into the tractor trolley."

"In Kasganj district, there is a pond on the roadside which is around 3-4 feet deep. The driver's hand apparently slipped there which led to the tractor getting overturned and subsequently loss of so many lives," he added.

The minister said that there was only one man among the deceased, while the rest of them were women.

"Unfortunately, the child -- Siddhu (one-and-half year) -- whose 'mundan' was to be done did not survive and died as the tractor-trolley overturned and fell into the pond. As many as 10 members of Siddhu's family died in the accident. Only one woman of their family survived, as she had not accompanied them. However, that woman can neither see nor hear," Chaudhary said.

"It is really very saddening as there was literally no one in the family left, who could mourn over the tremendous loss of lives which the family witnessed," he added.

Expressing anguish, the minister said that he could see only one child in the entire village during his visit.

Girish Chandra, the pradhan of Nagla Kasa village, told PTI, "Most of the deceased were from Nagla Kasa and some from nearby villages. I have not spoken to the driver, who has survived. Yesterday, I had gone to Patiyali and the atmosphere there was very saddening."

"Currently, the last rites of the deceased are being performed. The entire village is under deep shock and it may take some time for us to recover from this tragedy," he added.

On Sunday, the family members and relatives of some of the deceased became emotional, as final touches were given for the last rites.

"At my age I have never seen such an accident. A wave of mourning has spread everywhere. The last rites of people are being performed in their respective fields in the village," Chandra said.

Speaking to reporters in Nagla Kasa village on Sunday, Uttar Pradesh Minister Sandeep Singh termed the accident as "very saddening".

"We must try to avoid travelling on a tractor-trolley. 23 people lost their lives in this accident . When we travel in a tractor-trolley, there is no security as compared to other means (of transport). We are trying to make people aware about this," Singh said.

"The government can only impose 'challan' (fines) and make people aware. All of us have to understand that by travelling in a tractor-trolley, we are risking our lives, as there is no security and any untoward incident can happen," he added.

Singh said the government stands with the deceased families.

"The deceased include 14 women, a man and eight children. Ten people are currently undergoing treatment," a statement issued by the Kasganj district administration said.

According to the Kasganj district administration, information about the accident was received around 10 am.

"A number of people died while others were injured. The injured were sent to the community health centres in Patiyali and Kasganj, and a government hospital in Kasganj," it said.

President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have condoled the loss of lives in the incident.

In a post in Hindi on X, President Murmu said, "The death of several people, including women and children, when a tractor-trolley fell into a pond in Kasganj district of Uttar Pradesh is heart-wrenching. I express my deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones and wish speedy recovery to those injured."

Terming the loss of lives as "saddening", Prime Minister Modi said, "Heartbreaking! The accident that took place when a tractor trolley fell into a pond in Kasganj, Uttar Pradesh, is saddening."

"My condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. Along with this, I wish for the speedy recovery of the injured. Under the supervision of the state government, the local administration is engaged in providing all possible help to the victims," he said in his post on X in Hindi.

In another post on X, Modi said, "An ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased in the mishap in Kasganj. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000."

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath also took to X to condole the deaths in the accident.

"The loss of lives in a road accident in Kasganj district is extremely heart-wrenching. My condolences are with the bereaved families. District administration officials have been instructed to provide proper free treatment to all the injured. I pray to Lord Shri Ram to grant peace to the departed souls and speedy recovery to the injured," he said.

As locals searched for the trapped children, a woman was seen wailing and searching for her child. An excavator was also pressed into action for the rescue work.

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(Published 25 February 2024, 08:56 IST)

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