Keonjhar/Rayagada: At least five persons died in two separate road accidents involving auto-rickshaws in Odisha, today.
A pickup van and an auto-rickshaw collided head-on near Basantpur under Pandapada police limits in Keonjhar district this morning, killing at least four occupants of the vehicle and leaving five others critically injured.
The deceased have been identified as Jeevan Naik, Naveen Naik, Radhu Naik and Prahlad Naik.
The mishap took place when they were returning home in the ill-fated vehicle after selling vegetables at a market.
The driver of the van fled the spot after the accident. Police have seized the vehicle and started an investigation into the incident.
Tension rain high at the place as irate locals staged road blockade demanding compensation for the family members of the deceased.
In another incident, an auto-rickshaw carrying around 17 labourers turned turtle on NH-326 near Sankes in Rayagada district this morning, killing a woman and leaving others injured.
The deceased woman was identified as Tulasi Maniak (22) of Kiapadhu village under Rayagada block.
According to reports, the labourers were heading towards Rayagada for work in the auto-rickshaw when the driver of the vehicle lost control over wheels and it overturned.
It is being suspected that the accident took place due to overloading of passengers in the vehicle. Police have seized the auto-rickshaw and started a probe.