Seventeen junior students of Delhi Public School had a narrow escape here on Saturday as they were trapped inside the school bus after it hit an electricity pole and caught fire. The incident took place on Sunam Road around noon when the students of nursery and prep 2, aged between five and six, were returning home. The bus was completely burnt within minutes but the students were rescued safely with the efforts of nearby farmers.
The rescuers included navyman Kulbir Singh, who was working in his fields nearby, and Punjab Police head constable Harbans Singh and constable Suresh Kumar.
Kulbir said he was working in his fields and saw that the bus caught fire due to short circuit after hitting the electricity pole. “We ran to save the children and called the villagers,” he added.
Talking to HT, Dr Jyoti Wadhwa, whose five-year-old daughter Tulip was in the bus, said, “I was shocked to hear about the tragedy, but I'm thankful to the people who have saved the children’s lives.”
Harbans said, “We were walking down the road and saw the burning bus; we rushed to the spot and called villagers to save the children.”
SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu said the Sunam police had arrested bus driver Chandi Singh under Sections 279, 336 and 427 of the IPC for negligent driving.
School principal Poonam Sood said, “The incident took place because of the negligence of the driver. We are thankful to the farmers who took out all 17 children safely from the bus.”