Seventeen people were injured as a bus ferrying a Noida-based firm employees back from Manali after the New Year celebrations overturned near the furniture market here in the wee hours of Tuesday.
The mishap took place around 4:20am after the driver, who had allegedly consumed drugs and was driving rashly, lost control over the bus while taking a turn at the Sector 41/42/53/54 roundabout, said police. The bus is registered in Uttar Pradesh.
A group of 42 people, including 12 women, had left for Manali on December 30 and were on their way back to Noida, where they work in a private firm in Sector 62. The injured have been identified as Mohammed Kalim, Mamta, Dinesh Kumar, Nasir, Rajni, Abhishek, Nitu, Feroz Khan, Pooja, Jai Kishan, Shivam Mishra, Deepak, Mohammed Nadim, Chandan, Pankaj and Sonu and Kuldip Kumar.
BUSS STAFF FLEE, LATER TURN UP AT POLICE STATION
The panicked bus staff, comprising two drivers — Sonu and Rajkumar — and a conductor, Parvesh, initially fled the spot. Parvesh was apprehended by a passerby and beaten up by furious passengers as he tried to take out documents from the bus, but he managed to escape.
Later, the trio reached the Sector-36 police station, where Sonu, who was behind the wheel when the mishap took place, was arrested. He hails from Sonepat in Haryana.
Talking to HT, the passengers alleged the bus staff had consumed drugs during their halt at a dhabha. Mohammed Adil Siddiqui, one of the passengers, said when they confronted the driver, he told them not to worry and claimed it is their “routine job”.
“We had objected to the driver’s rash driving a number of times on our way back from Manali. We even had a heated exchange, but he didn’t pay any heed to our complaints. After one such argument, he even asked us to get off the bus. Later, the dispute was settled, but he remained resentful,” alleged Feroz, one of the injured persons.
Sonu, however, denied the allegations. Claiming the bus staff did not consume drugs, he told HT the accident took place as he tried to save a car coming from the wrong side.
He has been booked under Sections 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way) and 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). His medical was conducted at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. The report is awaited.
’STILL IN SHOCK, IT WAS TERRIFYING’
Recalling the incident, Adil Siddiqui, a passenger, said: “We are still in shock. We can’t believe this happened with us. We were so happy and were singing songs in the bus. In a fraction of a second, we were upside down. It was terrifying.”
It was a passerby who informed the police control room (PCR) after the accident. Cops reached the spot within five minutes followed by ambulances.
One of the passengers managed to come out of the bus after breaking the rear mirror. He eventually broke the windows from outside with a brick, rescuing other victims.
All the injured were rushed to Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, from where Kuldip Kumar, 23, was referred to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).
Doctors said Kuldeep, who is seriously injured, has to undergo surgery wherein a portion of his foot would be amputated. Most of the injured were administered multiple stitches on head, face and hands.