All it took was a few seconds for teenager Jaskiran Chawla’s life to be brutally snuffed out, horrified eyewitnesses have said.
“There was a lot of rush and confusion at the time of the accident,” said Suresh, the conductor of the private school bus that Chawla, a Class 10 student of Hansraj Model, was on. “The children were yelling and screaming like they usually do and it took us time to realise what had happened.”
Chawla, the only child of a Rani Bagh-based family, who was on the right side of the bus, spotted an ice-cream vendor on the pavement and took the opportunity to stick out his head and order the flavour of choice.
“He had said something to the vendor when the bus jerked forward as it pulled out from its parking spot and his neck rammed an electricity pole,” said a witness, who did not wish to be named.
“The children in the bus started screaming to stop the bus — but the driver kept the vehicle moving. It was only after a good hundred metres that the vehicle finally came to a halt.”
The bus then rushed towards the adjacent Maharaja Agrasen Hospital where doctors declared Chawla dead. The school’s administrators said “their hearts went out to the bereaved family”.
Whether proper guidelines were being followed — the bus was hired from a private contractor and wasn’t painted yellow as is mandatory — will now be examined.
Delhi education minister Arvinder Singh said: “The department had been asked to look into what triggered the incident and if the prescribed guidelines were followed.”