In Odisha’s Keonjhar, a devastating road accident unfolded early Friday morning on NH-20 near Balijodi, under Ghatagaon police station, resulting in the loss of eight lives and leaving seven others injured. The incident involved a minibus colliding into a stationary truck from behind.
According to Keonjhar SP Nitin Kushalkar, two families were en route from their native place in Ganjam district to Maa Tarini shrine in Ghatagaon to offer prayers when the tragedy struck. Among the deceased were Mita Pradhan, her son Akash, daughter-in-law Lili, as well as Bayakhand Gauda, Madan Gauda, Mamina Gauda, and Babina Gauda. The name of one deceased member of the Gauda family is yet to be confirmed by the police.
The impact of the collision severely damaged the front section of the minibus, scattering the bodies of the deceased and the injured across the road due to the intensity of the crash.
Notably, this tragic incident occurred on the inaugural day of the Zero Fatality Week initiated by the Odisha transport department, aimed at reducing road accident fatalities. During this week, law enforcement has been directed to take strict action against drunk drivers, emphasizing zero tolerance and immediate arrest.