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Driver hits post, 12 hurt

A packed bus rammed into a lamppost on Kona Expressway in Howrah after the driver fell ill and lost control of the vehicle on Tuesday afternoon. A dozen people were injured in the accident.

Police said the passengers escaped with minor injuries since the bus was moving slowly. The injured passengers were admitted to Howrah district hospital.

Driver Akhtar Ali, 39, was unconscious till late in the evening. He suffered injuries on the chest and abdomen, the police said.

The bus, carrying 40 passengers, was on its way to Sealdah from Bargachhia, about 30km from Howrah station.

It had started from Bargachhia around 1pm and reached Garfa bridge on the Kona Expressway, nearly 7km from Vidyasagar Setu, around 2pm when the driver suddenly fell ill.

He started vomiting and let go off the steering wheel. The out-of-control bus leaned left and rammed into a lamppost, said an officer of Jagacha police station.

“The driver looked sick right from the time the bus started from Bargachhia. The speed was fluctuating every now and then,” said Zahir-ul-Haq, a garment trader. “The driver was sweating profusely and when the bus was about to climb the Garfa bridge, he started to vomit,” Haq added.

“It’s not clear whether Ali lost consciousness before or after the accident,” a doctor said.