A 13-member under-19 Judo squad of Rajkot district met with an accident at around 7 am on Wednesday. Three persons, including two students, lost their lives and 10 were injured in the mishap near Bagodara. Eye-witness accounts said the driver of the minivan could not see a truck parked ahead due to foggy conditions.
According to Bagodara PSI A N Jani, the team was returning to Rajkot after participating in a state level tournament in Vapi. Those dead have been identified as students Harshal Padhiyar and Ishita Dholakiya besides Vishal Zariya, an acquaintance of the team coach. The students belonged to Rajkot’s SNK Dholakiya and A V Jasani schools.
The accident was first reported by locals who summoned 108 ambulances and police. They pulled the three bodies out of the van besides rescuing the injured. Expressing condolences, CM Bhupendra Patel declared a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured. One of the deceased, student Harshal Padhiyar, was the son of Bhargav Padhiyar, a social media coordinator for GPCC.