Eleven persons, including two children, sustained injuries when the private bus in which they were travelling overturned on the Western Express Highway in Kandivli (East) on Tuesday night. Passengers allege the driver was inebriated and drove the bus over a divider at high speed, which caused it to overturn. He fled from the spot after the incident and is still untraceable.
The incident took place at around 11.30pm when the bus, being operated by Om Sai Travels, Bhayandar, was returning from Vile Parle, where locals from Mira Road and Bhayandar had gone to attend a marriage.
On the way, a few passengers got off at Andheri and Jogeshwari, leaving 35 in the vehicle. When the bus was getting on the Saidham temple bridge near Thakur Village, it ran over the divider. "The left wheels were on the divider and since the vehicle was moving at high speed, before the driver could control it, the bus overturned," said Anant Kenjale, senior police inspector of Samta Nagar police station.
Passersby informed the fire brigade, which pulled out the passengers. Three men, six women and two children sustained minor injuries. They were taken to Bhagwati hospital and discharged after treatment. Some were shifted to Sai Nursing Home in Kandivli and also discharged after a few hours.
"The driver fled from the spot as soon as the bus overturned. According to passengers, he was driving under the influence of alcohol," added Kenjale.
The driver, who is yet to be identified, has been booked for causing hurt due to rash and negligent driving and also for not informing the police or assisting the injured after the incident. The police are trying to trace him with the help of the travel agency for which he was working.
One of the passengers said, "We kept telling him to drive slowly as he was speeding. But he did not listen to us. They way he was driving, we knew that he was going to crash."