Legislator’s son among 7 students killed in India after car falls off bridge

Indian PM Narendra Modi offers his condolences and announces compensation for the families of the dead

Namita Singh
Tuesday 25 January 2022 12:37
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<p>Representational: A policeman keeps watch near a police cordon at  a crime scene </p>

Representational: A policeman keeps watch near a police cordon at a crime scene

Seven medical students in India, including the son of a lawmaker, have died in a car accident in the western state of Maharashtra.

The accident took place around 1.30am on Monday night near the Selsura village of Wardha district when their car fell off a bridge.

Avishkar Rahangdale, one of the victims, was the son of Vijay Rahangdale, a legislator belonging to the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was a first year medical student at Wardha’s Sawangi Medical College.

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has offered his condolences over the death of the medical students.

“Pained by the loss of lives due to an accident near Selsura in Maharashtra. In this hour of sadness, my thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones. I pray that those injured are able to recover soon,” the prime minister’s office tweeted.

Mr Modi also announced Rs 200,000 (£1,985) from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those who lost their lives. The fund is created for those seeking immediate relief to families of those who have died from natural disasters.

Those injured will receive Rs 50,000 (£496).

The other deceased have been identified as students of the same college.

Of these, Neeraj Chauhan, Vivek Nandan, Pratyush Singh and Shubham Jaiswal were final year medical undergraduate MBBS students, Pawan Shakti was a first-year student and Nitesh Singh a medical intern, reported news agency ANI.

Police suspect that the vehicle, which was likely driven by Chauhan, lost control due to speeding.

“The vehicle had fallen through the bridge railing after impacting it. The incident had taken place between two bridges,” superintendent of police Prashant Holkar was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

“We have already conducted the inquest. The post-mortem would be conducted in presence of senior experts.”

Mr Holkar told the outlet that Chauhan’s body was stuck in the damaged vehicle and the car had to be cut open to retrieve his remains.

“All the deceased were found on the river bed,” he said.

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