Bus with pre-primary kids gets stuck as road caves in

Oct 15, 2013, 01:30 IST | Kranti Vibhute

Poor condition of roads was brought to the fore after a bus driver went over a manhole, which led to the collapse; the 15 children were later ferried to school by another car

After several complaints of backbreaking rides on roads built with poor-quality material, another incident brings to light the shabby condition of roads in the city. Fifteen kindergarten students from a Bandra-based school had a narrow escape yesterday when the bus ferrying them to school fell in a manhole, which led the road to cave in.

Nowhere to go but down: Officials and locals try to get the bus out of the hole at Dharavi’s 90 Feet Road. Part of the road, which is built over a sewage line, caved in after the bus rode through it 

The private bus ferrying the students to Father Agnel’s School was travelling on Dharavi’s 90 Feet Road at 12.15 pm, when the road over a manhole collapsed, taking the bus down with it. None of the children was injured. The kids were rushed to safety by locals in the area.

Mohan Ambalam, who was at the spot, said, “It happened right in front of me. The manhole was in a poor condition and the driver thought he could go over it without any trouble. But as soon as one of the bus’s rear tyre went over the manhole, the weakened road caved in and the bus fell inside. There were around 15 school kids from kindergarten in the bus but they escaped unhurt. They sat at my shop till other cars came and escorted them away.”

When MiD DAY approached the civic authorities, they provided the said investigations would be carried out. Sharadchandra Ughade, assistant municipal commissioner, G-North ward, where the road falls, said, “The part of the road where the bus fell in has been barricaded and traffic has been diverted. There is a sewage line at the spot and the officers will investigate why the incident occurred. The department concerned will also check if other manholes are in poor condition.”

In denial
Sundar Shekharan, the owner of Ramkumar Travels that operates the bus that fell in, refuted that children’s lives had been risked in the incident. He said that the students were not in the bus at the time of the incident. “My bus was going to pick up the children. There were no children inside the vehicle when the road caved in.”

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