A Punjab Roadways bus going to Chandigarh crashed into 10 vehicles on Tuesday here, killing a fruit-seller and injuring five commuters, after the driver received heart attack.
The accident occurred around 11am at Jamalpur Chowk on the Chandigarh road after driver Harjinder Singh (40) went unconscious. The bus hit two cars, six motorcycles, two scooters, and a cart before ramming an electricity pole. Cart-puller Aashish was crushed to death under the bus wheels. Power-transmission wires fell over the bus, giving a mild jolt to the passengers, who were later moved to another coach.
Pedestrians ran for their lives as the bus swerved. A car and three motorcycles drove into a chemist’s shop, while avoiding the bus. “I was standing near the pole that halted the bus. A cobbler seated beside and had a narrow escape,” said eyewitness Indu.
Seeing the police, ambulance, and administration late to respond, a mob smashed the windowpanes of the bus. The bus driver was moved to Fortis hospital, where his condition is critical. The injured are at different hospitals. Nishant Kumar (21) of Jamalpur and Harmel Singh (60) of Mangli are among them. Nishant had been standing on the roadside, while Harmel had come to the market on his scooter.
The family of victim Aashish Kumar (18) of Sanjay Gandhi Colony here blocked traffic for an-hour-and-a-half on the highway, demanding compensation from the government. The logjam forced additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) Satvir Singh Atwal and subdivisional magistrate (SDM) Prem Chand to come over and pacify the protesters.
Jamalpur station house officer (SHO) Satnam Singh Dhillon said police were collecting more details of the incident.