A school bus broke down while passing through a railway crossing in New Panvel on Tuesday. However, a major tragedy was averted, partly by parents of the children travelling in the bus, who managed to signal oncoming trains to a halt.
The incident occurred at Khanda railway crossing in New Panvel at around 1.30pm. There were around 25 students and their parents in the bus.
“The school bus carrying pre-primary students of St. Joseph High School got stuck on the tracks. Several parents were accompanying the kids since it was the first day of school,” said RV Gadhavle, senior police inspector with Panvel police station. Sources said the parents used umbrellas to signal the trains to halt.
“The quick thinking of the parents averted a mishap. They claimed that the trains had stopped quite close to the bus, though the driver said they were at least two kilometres away,” Gadhavle added.
The driver, Biku Parte, 65, has been arrested. Parte claimed to have been a driver with the BEST for 20 years. He told the police that the bus broke down at the railway crossing.