BEST bus turns turtle, 19 injured

Apr 07, 2013, 01:54 IST | Chetna Yerunkar and Sanika Kanekar

Dumper rams into a Mahim-bound BEST bus near Santacruz Airport junction at 12 pm, halts traffic, as cops struggle to clear area for President's entourage to pass at 3 pm yesterday

A BEST bus turned turtle after a dumper rammed into it while trying to overtake it on the Western Express Highway near Santacruz Airport junction, Vile Parle (east) at 12 noon yesterday.

Nineteen passengers, including the bus driver and conductor, were injured in the accident and rushed to VN Desai Municipal Hospital in Santacruz (east). Five of them were admitted to the hospital, while the rest were discharged.

A BEST bus overturned on the flyover in front of the Domestic airport on the Western Express Highway. Pic/Suresh KK

The bus fell on the northbound side of the highway affecting the traffic moving towards Andheri. Within half an hour, the traffic police and local residents managed to rescue the victims. However, traffic came to a stand-still for almost an hour, as a BMC hoarding caught fire near the accident spot. To add to that, the traffic police was under the pressure of clearing the road for the President’s entourage to pass at 3 pm.

Shashikant Talegaonkar, senior police inspector from Vile Parle police station, said, “The dumper rammed into the bus twice while trying to overtake it. The bus driver lost control and the bus toppled on to the other side of the road. Kishan Vishwanath Kamble (24), the driver of the dumper, has been taken into police custody.”Kamble will be produced in the
court today.

Raju Sherwegar, a 72-year-old commuter was sitting on the first seat next to the driver when the accident occurred. “The driver of the dumper was driving recklessly. The bus driver should have been careful too. People should be careful while driving on the highway,” said Sherwegar, who has sustained blunt injuries on his back and chest and is under observation in the ICU.

The bus conductor, Vishwas Sawant (52), has injured his right hand and has sustained minor injuries on his head. “The bus fell on its right side. If the bus would have toppled on the left, it would have fallen off the bridge and the casualties would have increased,” added Sawant.

Meanwhile, the bus driver, Sahebrao Chikne (58) has hurt his elbow and has sustained blunt injuries on his hip, abdomen and back. “The dumper tried to overtake the bus from the left. While overtaking, it hit the bus close to the front entrance due to which the bus climbed on the divider. When the dumper hit the bus the second time, the bus toppled and fell on its right,” said Chikne.

A doctor from the hospital, on condition of anonymity, said, “None of the passengers admitted are serious.” 

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