|Ishani Dey (top) and Prabal Mondal were among the children who got injured after their bus met with an accident near Barasat on Friday morning. (Sanjib Chaki)
Several children were injured when a private bus carrying about 30 of them to school hit a truck and then got hit by a lorry that was trailing it on Jessore Road near Barasat on Friday morning.
The bus, similar to a regular minibus, was ferrying students from the junior section of Central Modern School Barasat to Habra. The children were between four and 10 years old.
The accident occurred around 6.45am on the outskirts of Barasat as the bus driver lost control when he tried to avoid hitting a cow on the busy road. A truck loaded with cattle was approaching from the opposite direction and came in the way when the bus swerved towards the other lane to save the cow.
The bus had started from Habra around 6.15am.
The students were thrown off their seats when a lorry laden with vegetables hit the school bus from behind as it screeched to a stop after hitting the cattle truck.
Doctors at Barasat District Hospital, about a kilometre from the spot, bandaged the head wounds of four kids. The other children had cuts and bruises on their hands and legs.
“Altogether 11 injured kids were brought to the hospital and we discharged them after treatment. The ones with head injuries and two others who complained of chest pain were advised CT scan and chest X-ray,” said an official of the hospital.
Police made arrangements for the rest of the kids to be taken to school.
“I was in Duttapukur when a call from the police said my son had an accident. I rushed to the hospital and found my son had bruises and a bandage around his hand. He told me that he fell from the seat as the brakes were slammed hard,” said a businessman. His son is in Class II.
A parent of a Class I student said her daughter cut her hand while trying to stop the fall from the impact of the collision and sudden slamming of the brakes.
“The driver of the bus has been arrested and the bus seized,” said Bhaskar Mukherjee, additional superintendent of police, Barasat. He has been charged with rash and negligent driving endangering public life.
He, his two help and the driver of the smaller lorry and his help were injured too.
Friday was the second day of the new session and teachers were sent to the hospital after the school was informed about the accident.
“This is not a bus owned or managed by the school. But it is unfortunate that an accident took place,” said M. Garg, the secretary of the school.
The bus driver has been charged under Section 184 of The Motor Vehicles Act for driving dangerously.