The damaged school bus after the accident near Topchanchi block office in Dhanbad on Monday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Four students of St Thomas School, Topchanchi, sustained injuries on Monday when their bus carrying a total of 20 children was hit by a truck from behind near the local block office, about 25km from Dhanbad district headquarters.
Harshit Bhadani (12) suffered a fracture in his right leg and Suhail Sarvar (10) lost a tooth, while Adnan Sheikh (12) and Sidra Naim (12) sustained head injuries in the accident. The remaining 16 students, however, escaped with minor scratches.
While Suhail, Adnan and Sidra were released from Topchanchi community health centre after preliminary medical aid, Harshit was referred to the Patliputra Medical College and Hospital in Dhanbad for better care.
The incident took place around 7am when the school bus halted to pick up some students waiting near the Topchanchi block office.
A truck, loaded with refined flour, which was trailing at a high speed, rammed into the stationary bus.
According to eyewitnesses, the impact of the collision pushed the bus forward by a few metres which, in turn, jumped over a roadside drain and dashed against the boundary wall of the block office.
“The impact was very strong. The bus was badly damaged,” said Shakil Akhtar, a local resident who was present at the time of the accident.
The impact threw most of the students off their seats. Passersby and onlookers immediately rushed for their rescue and saw Harshit’s right leg was stuck between two seats. The local residents then brought an iron rod from a roadside shop to create space to free his leg and took him out of the bus.
All the students were rushed to the nearby community health centre, from where Harshit was referred to the Patliputra hospital.
Officer-in-charge of Topchanchi police station Bhanu Deo Ram, who immediately rushed to the spot, said the students were out of danger.
The OC further added the police managed to arrest Pappu Rai, the truck driver who fled with the vehicle after the mishap, following a hot chase around 2km away from the incident site.