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Malshej Ghat bus accident: I almost didn't board the bus that day, says victim

A survivor of the ST bus accident that killed 27 people recalls how she almost gave it a miss that morning; now recovering, she fears she may not get time to prepare for her exam

Lying down at the trauma care unit of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) Hospital in Vashi, 20-year-old Mamta Maurya wishes she had never taken the State Transport (ST) bus on the fateful day of January 2, when the bus fell into the gorge at Malshej Ghat. She recounts how she had almost decided to return home from the bus station in Thane. The bus had been late that day, and her father insisted that she return home. However, she decided to wait, a decision that unfortunately landed her in the hospital.

Lying in her hospital bed, Mamta Maurya is worried that she will not be able to manager her studies
Lying in her hospital bed, Mamta Maurya is worried that she will not be able to manager her studies

Thane resident Maurya is a second-year student of the BHMS (Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery) course at Anantrao Kanase Homeopathic Medical College at Alephata in Junnar, Pune district. The regular commuter of ST buses told MiD DAY, “I knew the bus timings since I travel by it regularly, whenever I go back to college from my home.

My father, who always came to see me off at the bus stop, accompanied me on the day of the accident as well. We waited for the bus to come at the Lokmanya Nagar bus stop in Thane from 5.30 am, but the bus did not show up. My father insisted that I return home, but I decided to wait for some more time. My father then enquired at the main bus station, which in turn informed him that the bus had left. Around 6.15 am, the bus pulled in and I boarded it.”

Remembering how the bus went downhill, she says that that since it was morning, she too was drowsy. But, when the driver lost control, fellow passengers started shouting and that’s when she realised that something was wrong. “I was sitting at a window seat and was thrown out of the bus. Locals from the area brought me out using bedsheets and ropes. After that I lost consciousness for a while,” said the girl, who suffered injuries to her right leg, knee and spinal cord.

However, her present cause of worry is her exams, which are scheduled in May. She has been missing all of her classes and practical sessions. “Since I am required to stay at the hospital in order to recover speedily, I am worried about how will I manage my studies,” said Maurya.

Meanwhile, the medical superintendent of NMMC hospital Dr Prashant Jawade said that the Maurya would require another six more weeks to recover. “She was brought to our hospital on the night of the accident after she was administered some preliminary treatment at a hospital in Alephata. She has suffered injuries to her spinal cord and right knee. We will require her to stay for more than a month,” said Jawade.

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