A 15-year-old boy was crushed under the rear wheels of the bus he was alighting from after a strap of his backpack got caught in the door handle and dragged him under the vehicle.
Around noon on Tuesday, Sharif Jamal was going to Ling Liang High School, where he studied in Class VIII, on a state bus to retrieve a mobile phone he had left behind.
When the bus reached the stop — opposite the School of Tropical Medicine on Chittaranjan Avenue — Sharif leapt down, but the backpack strap got entangled in the door handle and he got dragged under the wheels, said witnesses.
“He lost balance because of the bag,” said the owner of a tea stall nearby. “As soon as he fell, people cried out but it was too late. The driver braked immediately but by then one of the rear wheels had gone over him.”
Sharif was rushed to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital across the road but was declared dead on arrival.
A fruit vendor’s only son, Sharif had rejoined school on Tuesday after a fortnight’s leave because of malaria.
He had gone to school in the morning but had returned early because he had not been feeling well. His father, Md. Jamal, brought him home around 11am.
“He left home again soon after because his cellphone was with a classmate. It was all right to let him go because the school’s not far from his Shambhu Chatterjee Street residence. Nobody could have imagined this would happen,” said neighbour Quadir Naqvi.
Police have impounded the bus and arrested the driver. A case has been started against him. “We have to conduct this investigation as a matter of routine. If it’s found that the driver wasn’t at fault, he would be let off,” said an officer of Bowbazar police station.