Pune: Eighteen passengers were injured after the steering rod of a Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) bus broke and the driver lost his control over the vehicle. The bus, while turning left on the Pune-Bangalore highway to enter the service road, fell on the make-shift houses of labourers seriously injuring one of them. The injured persons have been admitted at Mai Mangeshkar Hospital in Warje.
The bus belonged to private contractor Mahalaxmi Automotive Pvt limited. Senior Police Inspector Bajirao Mole, in charge of Warje Malwadi police station, told Sakal Times, “The bus was going from Katraj to Nigdi. There were about 30 passengers and 18 of them have received injuries. We are investigating the cause of the accident.”
As per the statement given by the bus driver Prakash Khope to the police, “When he turned the bus towards the service lane, suddenly the steering rod of the bus broke, so he could not turn back on the road.
“He applied brakes and because of this, the bus slowed down. Prakash also suffered a head injury. Conductor Arun Gitte received injuries on his hand, legs and head.”
“A major tragedy was tragedy as the bus hit a tree after it lost its balance. Otherwise, it would have crushed the make-shift houses. The houses are built of tin and around 25 workers live there. When the accident happened, most of them were away, only Harishchandra Rajbhor was in the house,” said Sohan Lal, Rajbhor’s friend.
Rajbhor (30) who hails from Deoria, Uttar Pradesh, was seriously injured in the accident. According to the witnesses, Harishchandra was inside the cottage when the bus came crashing down on him.
Surendra Rai, another worker, told Sakal Times, “I was about 10 metres ahead and I saw a bus crashing down on a cottage. I shouted for help. Many passengers inside the bus were also shouting for help. I called Harishchandra, but he didn’t reply.” All the workers hail from Deoria in Uttar Pradesh.
Aishwarya Kakde, a college student and passenger, told Sakal Times, “I took the bus from Katraj and was sitting near the window. I received an injury on my right knee and a cut on the eyebrow. The local people and police rescued us. The PMPML has paid all our medical bills.”
Sudhir Rakse, another passenger of PMPML, arrived at Katraj by a private bus from Bengaluru with his wife Suvarna and five-year-old daughter Sanavi. “We boarded the bus at Katraj and we were sitting behind the driver. Suddenly, the bus fell down. My daughter received an injury on the right side above the eyebrow and on the back.”
Subhash Gaikwad, PMPML PRO, said that the a team of its officials is investigating the incident. “Our Accident Department personnel rushed to the spot immediately. They are investigating the incident to find the reasons and will soon submit a report,” said Gaikwad.