Melbourne, September 14
Two Indians were among four persons killed in a tragic car crash at a famous tourist beach in New Zealand, media reports said today.
Dilpreet Singh, 32 and Pulkit Malhotra, 27 were travelling in a four-wheeler along with Imad Dib, 31 and Syed Jafri, 29, from Lebanon and Pakistan respectively when the vehicle flipped and rolled several times, throwing the occupants onto the Muriwai beach in West Auckland yesterday.
After the accident, witnesses tried to administer first- aid as emergency services rushed to the scene. It was not immediately known who was driving the vehicle when it crashed, police said, adding that a few witnesses were called on, New Zealand Herald reported.
The vehicle had to be towed from the water by a tractor.
An Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter spokeswoman said it appeared that the Pajero had been travelling "at high speed along the sand".
While Singh, Dib and Jafri were working at Queens Academy Group in Auckland for the past one year, Malhotra was their friend and had arrived in New Zealand recently. Singh and Dip were marketing executives, and Jafri was a lecturer.
Syed Jafri and Singh were New Zealand residents. Dib had a work visa, police said.
"It's either struck an object or has hit sand. The vehicle has then flipped and rolled several times," Road Policing Manager for the Waitemata Police Inspector Trevor Beggs said.
"The fact that the occupants have all been ejected from the vehicle would suggest that they may not have been wearing seatbelts, but this will be confirmed once the car has been examined," Beggs said.
"No one who sets out with their friends on a Sunday afternoon expects that it will end in such a tragic loss of life," he added.
Police said the victims' next of kin were notified and were being assisted by police. The families have requested privacy.
It is the second such accident at Muriwai Beach. In July 2004, three persons were killed in a crash.
The beach is considered part of the road network but users need a permit from Auckland Council to drive there. —PTI