Four persons were killed and about 30 others injured after a private bus belonging to Baba Budha Sahib bus service, owned by the family of former speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon, rammed into a tree near Awan village, around 40 km from here on the Ajnala-Ramdas road, on Monday morning.
While Kundan Singh and Surjan Singh died on the spot, Parminder Kaur and Akashdeep Kaur (9) died in the local Guru Nanak Dev hospital. Around half a dozen passengers were still "critical".
Soon after the mishap, area residents rushed to rescue the passengers, many of whom were badly injured and suffered fractures. A few passengers were rescued after cutting the mangled coach.
The impact of the accident was so severe that the tree trunk was wedged into the front portion of the bus. A few bus seats were also uprooted due to the impact.
Talking to HT, Amritsar (rural) police SP (D) Jasdeep Singh said, "As per the information, the bus driver was speeding and lost control while trying to overtake a tractor-trolley. The bus hit a roadside tree and led to the causalities."
He said that the accident occurred due to negligence of bus driver Jageer Singh, against whom a case had been registered.
Talking to media persons, Lakhwinder Singh, whose injured children were undergoing treatment at the Guru Nanak Dev hospital, said, "It happened due to overspeed bus. We have been raising the issue of rash driving by drivers of private buses since long but nothing has changed. It is the innocent passengers who have to pay with their lives and limbs."
Dr Rakesh Sharma of Guru Nanak Dev hospital, said, "As many as 16 people were rushed to the hospital. Two of them have died while one is in serious condition and admitted in the intensive care unit." The remaining 13 injured are admitted in the emergency ward and were being looked after, said the doctor.