A 17-year-old student was killed and eleven persons(including nine students and two adults) injured when an overcrowded minibus turned turtle after failing to negotiate a curve on the ring road near Wazirabad today.
“The incident occurred near the signature bridge, a few metres away from Gurudwara Majnu Tilla at 7.25 am. We were informed about it 10 minutes later,” said a senior police officer from the investigation team requesting anonymity.
According to police, Manjeet Singh(17), a student of Class XI at the Boys’ Senior Secondary School at Mori Gate, was crushed beneath the vehicle and later pronounced brought dead at the Sushruta Trauma Centre.
“The minibus was jam-packed; it was carrying around 45 passengers, most of whom were children aged between 12 and 17 years. They were on way to various government schools in north Delhi,” the officer said “Due to overcrowding, around half a dozen of them were travelling on the footboard of the vehicle, Manjeet was one of them,” the officer said.
The minibus was running on the Chauhan Patti-Gurudwara Nanak Saar route and predominantly carrying school children to north Delhi from northeast Delhi's Sonia Vihar area.
The over-speeding minibus toppled over on its left while attempting to negotiate a sharp angular curve adjacent to the signature bridge located in the Timarpur area, victims said.
“Half of the carriageway has been dug-up for maintenance work and most of the other half is obstructed by signage. Despite this, the driver of our vehicle attempted to turn at full speed,” said Mohan Lal(52), a government employee who was on his way to Rajpur Road.
The victims' kin blamed the accident on the government's inefficiency. “Time and again, such accidents take place and the government says they will cancel the permits of private operators not complying with safety norms and plying over-crowded vehicles. My son has joined a long list of those victimised by the government's apathy,” said Kamleshwar Singh (42), Manjeet's father.
Another victim, 17-year-old Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya student Narender Singh Negi's brother Virender (20) said, “Many commuters are injured in accidents everyday because of dug-up roads and 'restoration' work. How long can one be careful?”