The inquiry committee formed to probe into the St Soldier school bus accident has blamed the school authorities for hiring the driver without police verification.
Five students of Saint Soldier International School, Sector 28, Chandigarh, were injured when their school bus rammed into the railing of a bridge near Kaimbwala village on September 7. The bus driver was found to be driving under the influence of liquor.
The report submitted to the UT education department reveals that the bus driver’s behaviour was not normal as he appeared to be sleepy and was seen taking pills before the incident, as per a statement given by a student who was aboard the bus when the accident took place. The report also mentions that the bus was being driven at high speed. School principal Vijaya Sidhu’s “false” claim that the driver was carrying his licence at the time of the accident was also noted in the report.
The report revealed that the driver was hired on temporary basis as the regular driver was on leave. According to sources, when the principal was asked to produce the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the bus during the inquiry, she gave it in written that the camera was damaged before the accident.
Director public instructions (schools) Rupinderjit S Brar said: “I have to go through the report. If the report says that the school is responsible for the accident, action will be taken against the school authorities.”
According to a student’s statement, the driver appeared to be sleepy and was driving rashly. He was also seen taking pills. However, the woman attendant aboard the bus didn’t feel the same
The school authorities hired the driver without police verification. The school principal said he was hired on temporary basis as the regular driver had gone on leave
Principal failed to produce CCTV footage as the camera was damaged at the time of the accident.
The school transport in-charge claimed that he had met the driver that morning and he was not under the influence of liquor