Five injured as President’s escort car skids off road in Darjeeling

President-escortDarjeeling, (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee’s motorcade was on Friday involved in an accident when one of the escort vehicles skidded off the road and fell into a gorge, injuring five people. The convoy was on its way to Bagdogra in northern West Bengal.

Both Mukherjee and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, whose car was also part of the motorcade, are safe. The President is on a three-day visit to Darjeeling.

The accident happened as the convoy was heading towards Bagdogra airport from Darjeeling, when the third car in the convoy skidded and fell into a gorge, injuring five security personnel.

“There is no reason to worry. Everybody is safe. The President is safe,” said Banerjee, who herself supervised the rescue work.

“The third car in Pranab Da’s (Mukherjee) convoy slipped off and hurtled down a gorge. The accident happened due to heavy rain. The police and security men were very prompt in rescuing those who were inside the car,” said Banerjee, whose vehicle was right behind the one that fell off.

“The President has been waiting at a safe place in Kurseong. I have informed him that everything is okay here. He is also safe,” added Banerjee.

Hailing the prompt rescue work, Banerjee also announced that the state government will “reward those involved in the rescue work”.

The five injured were moved to the North Bengal Medical College, while the President’s convoy resumed its journey for the airport later.

“Car in President’s carcade from Darjeeling to Bagdogra goes off road, minor injuries to security personnel,” Rashtrapati Bhavan said in tweets.

“Unfortunate accident involving escort vehicle in convoy enroute to Bagdogra. Everybody is well by grace of God,” it added.

Medaram Jathara

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