Pvt van with 17 students veers off road; 4 kids injured

A Private van carrying school students met with an accident yesterday, resulting in minor injuries to four children between the ages of eight and 10 years. The children were students of Abhinav English Medium School in Ambegaon.

Van rams into rock
The van, which the police said was carrying as many as 17 students in violation of RTO guidelines, hit a roadside rock near the Katraj-Dehu Road bypass in the afternoon. All the injured children were admitted to Navale Hospital by the school authorities and were discharged after treatment.

The police said the van was an Omni and its driver Kailash Gadekar was ferrying 17 students to the school in spite of RTO guidelines saying the number of children should not exceed 12 for a vehicle of its size. According to the police, the accident took place when the van approached the service road near RCM College off the Katraj-Dehu Road bypass at 12.30 pm. The driver encountered a steep climb and lost control, hitting a roadside rock.

Abhinav Education Society chairman Rajeev Jagtap said: "The accident occurred near the school. The school authorities reached the spot and rushed the injured students to Navale Hospital, where they were treated and discharged." He said the van was a private one hired by the parents themselves. The school had taken an undertaking from the parents stating that they were hiring the private van on their own responsibility.

The injured students were identified as Akansha Bandigire (8), Omkar Linge (8), Umesh Maharudra (8) and Yash Shirgaonkar (10). The police said all the injured lived near Katraj.

Driver absconding
Senior Police Inspector Sardar Patil of the Haveli police station said the driver was absconding. "Neither the parents nor the school authorities have come forward to lodge a complaint against the driver. But we are investigating the matter and will take appropriate action," said Patil.

The maximum no. of students an Omni is supposed to carry according to RTO guidelines

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