Rourkela, Feb. 24: Fifteen students sustained minor injuries when a dumper truck hit their school bus near the civil township here today.
Forty students were in the bus when the incident occurred. The driver of the dumper truck abandoned his vehicle and fled the spot.
The accident occurred between Hockey Square and Hanuman Vatika when the bus, carrying students of St Arnold School, was going from Jharatarang to drop them back from the school. The truck came from the opposite side towards Sitalpada dumping yard.
Eyewitnesses said that both the vehicles were moving on opposite directions and all of a sudden the truck crossed the median and hit the school bus. After hitting the school bus, it overturned on the road.
“We heard a thud after which we found the students crying. We rushed to the spot and rescued the kids from the bus immediately,” said Mahesh Vijir, an eyewitness.
Local residents and traders took the injured children to a nearly hospital. At least 15 students were found having minor injuries. The parents of the students were immediately called up and the wards were handed over to them. “I was getting ready to go to my work place when I got a call and came to know about the accident. I rushed to the spot. Luckily, my son was safe,” said Sarban Sing, a student’s father.
The accident sparked tension in the area and people staged a road block. Police had to intervene to lift the blockade as it caused traffic chaos. The police took both the vehicles to Raghunath Pally police station.
Though the reason behind the truck crossing the divider could not be ascertained, the police suspected it could be because of a brake failure.
“We are searching for the truck driver. Luckily, there was no damage to the bus as it was moving slowly and the truck had hit the bus near the driver’s side,” said deputy superintendent of police R.K. Mishra.