A portion of the metal floor of a Jadavpur-Salt Lake government bus got ripped apart following a tyre burst and pierced the right leg of a passenger on his way to office on Thursday morning.
Samar Chowdhury, 58, a government employee, suffered a fracture in the tibia and fibula — the two bones between the knee and the ankle — after his leg was impaled on a metal part.
Police and fellow passengers admitted him to AMRI Hospitals, Salt Lake, where he underwent surgery in the evening.
Doctors advised the resident of Katjunagar, in Jadavpur, bed rest for at least six months.
“The two bones were fractured just above his right heel. He also suffered many cuts. He has been advised not to put any pressure on the leg for at least six months,” said a doctor at the hospital.
The freak incident involving an S9 bus occurred around 10pm, when the right inner tyre at the rear burst near Metropolitan Cooperative Housing Society on the Bypass, leaving a gaping hole under Chowdhury’s window seat.
Seeing Chowdhury’s condition, fellow passengers forced the driver to take the bus to the Beleghata Traffic Guard at the Chingrihata crossing, where they knew an ambulance was always stationed.
Some officers at the traffic guard and a few passengers took Chowdhury to the hospital in the ambulance.
Thursday’s incident brought back memories of a 2009 accident that resulted in the death of a woman passenger of a private bus. The woman was hit on the neck and head by a wooden footrest of the bus that got ripped off following a tyre burst on Dhakuria bridge.
The driver and conductor of the S9 bus (WB04 E 5750) were arrested and charged under sections 279 (rash driving) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC.
Since both offences are bailable, they were released from Pragati Maidan police station, where they were taken following the arrest, after their lawyers furnished bail bonds. The bus, around four years old, has been seized.
“A case has been registered and necessary actions have been taken against the driver and the conductor,” said an investigating officer.
Fellow passengers said Chowdhury was seated beside a window on the third row from the end. Moments after the bus had crossed ITC Sonar, the right inner tyre at the rear burst. The bus was packed with passengers at that time.
“There was a loud sound and then I heard a scream. The man sitting by the right window on the third row from the back was writhing in pain. A portion of the metal floor of the bus had pierced his right leg,” recounted Avishek Guhathakurta, a senior executive with WBSEDCL.
Wife Lipika said Chowdhury, a personal assistant to the director of fisheries, has been taking the S9 bus to office for many years. “His office is in Sector V in Salt Lake. He leaves home around 8.45am and boards the bus at the Jadavpur 8B bus stand. Today he followed the same schedule but around 10.15 I got a call from an S9 passenger who said my husband was seriously injured and was being taken to hospital,” said Lipika.