Madarihaat: A 55-year-old driver and a 20-year-old man died on impact at Madarihaat, India yesterday, when the Gomtu bound coaster bus they were travelling in crashed into a speeding Indian truck around 3:30pm.

A 34-year-old woman succumbed to injuries later at Phuentsholing hospital.

The truck’s speed pushed the bus to the roadside, and it came to a halt after hitting a parked DCM truck.  The DCM truck, said police, stopped the bus from hitting a tea stall nearby and injuring others.

Police officials in Phuentsholing said the accident occurred, when the driver swerved to save an Indian man, who had suddenly appeared on the road.  But Gomtu residents say the bus had actually hit the pedestrian.

The bus, which was returning to Gomtu from Phuentsholing, was also speeding.

Madarihaat is about 25km from Phuentsholing.

There were 19 passengers travelling to Gomtu.  Of the nine passengers who were admitted to Phuentsholing hospital with injuries, three were kept for observation last night and the rest discharged.

As soon as information of the accident was received, His Majesty the King commanded the agencies concerned to take care of the affected ones.  According to the Office of the Prime Minister, the Samtse dzongda and officials from Gomtu and Phuentsholing were at the site, and home ministry and road safety officials were also working closely with the Indian counterparts.

Information and communications minister, DN Dungyel, is travelling to Phuentsholing today to meet the injured passengers in the hospital and their family members.

By Rajesh Rai,  Phuentsholing