Ten days after seven children were killed at Muhawa in Amritsar, 20 were injured in another school-bus accident around 8.30am at Dhota village, 10 kilometres from here on Friday.
The Guru Amardas Canadian School bus from Goindwal Sahib was overloaded — with 50 students aboard — and racing to Nagoke village when the driver lost control of it and the vehicle toppled over a field. “Instead of rescuing the children, the driver ran away,” eyewitness Joga Singh said. “Another passerby, Jaspal Singh, and I pulled the weeping children out by breaking the window glasses and called their parents.”
The children, who are between 5 an 12, were put in different hospitals. All are out of danger. Eyewitness Joga Singh is from Sangar Kot village near Dhota.
Police found that the bus seats to be too small. “The owner had replaced the original seats to adjust more children,” assistant sub-inspector Kewal Singh said. “These seats caused most of the injuries.”
No senior officer of the police or district administration reached the spot. Even the school principal and management’s representative arrived late. Satnam Singh, Harjinder Singh, Jagir Singh, Angrej Singh, Karam Singh, and Dharam Singh — fathers of some of the children — demanded the driver’s arrest and investigation against the school management.
Tarn Taran district transport officer (DTO) Angrej Singh Hundal said all schools had orders to follow the transport safety rules under the Safe School Vahan policy.