Delhi cluster bus mishap: Another person succumbs to injuries; toll rises to 3
The errant driver, who had fled the accident spot in a bid to escape an irate mob, was arrested from north-east Delhi in the early hours on Friday, Delhi Police saidUpdated: Sep 25, 2020, 17:29 IST
One more person succumbed to his injuries on Friday morning following the previous night’s accident on a busy road in north-east Delhi’s Nand Nagri, where a speeding cluster bus allegedly ran over around seven people and killed two of them on the spot.
The accident, which had occurred at 10 pm on Thursday, had triggered a violent protest in the area. The errant driver, Pushpender Singh, who had fled the accident spot in a bid to escape an irate mob, was arrested from north-east Delhi in the early hours on Friday, Delhi Police said.
The mob had vandalised the cluster bus that ran on route number 261 -- between Sarai Kale Khan and Nand Nagri. The agitators shouted slogans against Delhi Police and chased away a police van for arriving late at the accident spot.
“The third accident victim was identified as Amar Singh (40), who worked as a labourer and lived at Harsh Vihar in north-east Delhi. We have arrested the bus driver and booked him for rash and negligent driving causing death and injuries. A case under sections 279 (rash driving), 304A (causing death by negligence), and 337 (rash or negligent act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered at Nand Nagri police station,” said Ved Prakash Surya, deputy commissioner of police (DCP) (north-east), Delhi Police.
DCP Surya said that the arrested driver has claimed that the accident occurred because the brakes of the bus failed while it was coming down from the ITI flyover. The bus had 15 passengers on board when the accident occurred.
The driver told the police that after the brakes failed, initially, he had tried to stop the vehicle by hitting a concrete road divider. Later, he rammed into a mini truck, but still failed to stop the moving bus. He lost control of the vehicle and it crashed into an egg vendor’s cart and ran over some pedestrians, the DCP said, quoting the driver.
“We are trying to ascertain the driver’s claims about the sequence of the events that led to the accident. A mechanical inspection will also be done by experts to verify whether the brakes of the bus indeed failed,” added the DCP.
Eye-witnesses told the police that after hitting the truck, the bus rammed into a vegetable cart and hit a few more vehicles before coming to a grinding halt.
Up to seven people were injured in the accident, among whom a youth and a boy, died on the spot. The accident victims were identified as Ravinder (22) and Karan (12).
Three injured persons, including a woman and a boy (16), are still undergoing treatment at a hospital in north-east Delhi, the police said.
Over 100 people had gathered at the accident spot and vandalised the cluster bus by pelting stones at it. There was swirling rumour that the accident had claimed five lives.
The mob also vented their anger at a police patrolling van that had arrived at the accident spot after receiving an emergency call. The agitated people blocked the main road where the accident took place, staged a protest and shouted slogans against Delhi Police.
They also stopped an ambulance from taking an injured person to a hospital. A video made by one of the onlookers showed some angry people were pulling out a stretcher, where an injured and unconscious boy was lying down, from the ambulance. Some people can be heard in the video shouting slogans against Delhi Police and talking about blocking the road.
DCP Surya said that around 60 police personnel from three police stations and the reserve battalion were rushed to the accident spot to bring the situation under control and avoid further violence.
“The agitators dispersed when they were assured of swift police action. A few minutes later, some women also tried to stage a protest and block the road. But we intervened and cleared the spot for vehicular traffic. The situation came under control within half an hour and no untoward incident has been reported since then,” he added.