|The hired Rainbow Public School bus that collided with a truck in Bokaro on Friday and (above) one of the injured students in hospital. Pictures by Pankaj Singh
Eleven people, including six children on a poorly maintained school bus, were injured in three near-fatal mishaps that occurred within half an hour in Bokaro on Friday morning.
The condition of two of the injured children — all of whom are class I students of Rainbow Public School Chira Chas — is critical.
The first accident, and the most of horrific of the three, occurred at NH-32 near Essar petrol pump around 6.50am, when a speeding truck coming from the direction of Dhanbad collided with the privately-owned bus contracted by the school to ferry students of classes I and II.
According to police, the truck driver lost control while trying to negotiate a sharp bend and hit the bus head-on. The driver of the private bus fled the scene but cleaner Dhananjay (29) was injured.
“The bus driver, Gangadhar Mahto (47), tried his best to avoid the collision by taking a sharp turn, but failed,” said a police officer, adding that the impact of the collision must have thrown the children off their seats.
The police have seized the truck bearing registration number WB-23B-2976.
The injured children are Anku Kumar (5), Animesh Kumar (6), Amar Kumar (5), Aftab Alam (6), Roshni Parveen (6) and Yuvraj (5). Schoolteacher Khushbu Sharma (28) was also injured.
The injured were admitted to KM Memorial Hospital and Neelam Nursing Home. Yuvraj and Anshu, who sustained serious head injuries, were later shifted to Bokaro General Hospital.
The bus, which was in service for Rainbow Public School, was found wanting in adhering to Supreme Court guidelines such as windows fitted with horizontal grilles and safety nets. It didn’t even sport regulation yellow and blue colours.
Police sources, however, said the truck driver was at fault.
In the second accident that took place at 7am, 34-year-old Mamta Tewary, a teacher of St Mary’s School, and was injured near Bokaro Aerodrome. Tewary was riding a Scooty when she was hit by a speeding Wagon R.
The car sped away, leaving the teacher with injuries on her right hand and legs. She was admitted to Bokaro General Hospital.
In the third accident, Sanjay Kumar Srivastav, a resident of Sector V, who was riding an unregistered Bajaj Pulsar, was hit by a school bus belonging to DPS around 7.15am near Bokaro Club.
The school bus was trying to overtake Srivastav, who was seriously injured and rushed to Bokaro General Hospital. His condition is said to be stable.
The police have seized the bus and registered a case against the driver.
DSP P.N. Singh told The Telegraph that cases were filed in all three cases at Chas and city police stations. Investigations, he claimed, were on.
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