Shortly after she saw her eight-year-old daughter off at school, a pregnant woman was run over by a school bus outside the New Model English School in Deonar on Monday. This is the second tragedy involving a school bus in less than a month since 9-year-old Viraj Parmar died in an accident on the bus in Sion.
The incident took place at around 1pm after Farida Kazi, 32, dropped her daughter at Kumud Vidyamandir English School, where she studied. Kazi was walking on the narrow road outside the compound when she was hit by a school bus that drove out of the neighbouring New Model English School. The impact threw Kazi under the wheels of the bus. The driver realised something was wrong only when passers-by raised an alarm.
"The woman's body had to be pulled out with some effort after which she was rushed to a local hospital," said assistant police inspector S More of Deonar police station. Farida was declared dead at the hospital.
The incident comes even as the state government has instructed that all school buses in the city be inspected for compliance with the new school bus safety policy. One of the guidelines laid down by the policy requires a helper to be present inside the school bus.
The Deonar police said that parents of other students who stopped the school bus after it crushed Kazi did not find any cleaner inside. The driver, however, claimed there was a helper who ran away fearing he would be beaten up. "We are investigating if there was a helper," said senior inspector P Pansakar. When questioned if any case would be registered against the school or the bus operator, the senior inspector said that they may press charges if any negligence is found. The driver of the bus has been arrested.
Farida is survived by her husband Sirajuddin, a driver by profession, and three children.