Twenty-two children suffered cuts and bruises when a bus scraped against the side of their school van at Neermarga here on Friday.

A service bus plying on the Neermarga-Mangalore route scraped against the school van of Rotary Navachetana English Medium School around 8.30 a.m., headmistress Rose Alice Vas said. Most of the children had bruises, and 19 of them were taken to SCS Hospital and three to Tejasvini Hospital. “He (the service bus driver) was conversing on his mobile phone,” said Harshita, a class V student.

Secretary of the Rotary Grama Dala B. Janardhana, who was travelling by the school van to deliver some school books, said “The bus driver was talking on his mobile phone.”

Six-year-old Varshini, who was taken to SCS Hospital, was too shy to talk to presspersons, but her neighbour Supriya who was with her said that the girl was crying when she saw her mother at the hospital. She told her mother that she was alright but that Yashaswini (her younger sister) was hurt. Four-year-old Yashaswini, who is in LKG, has a cut on her forehead, which had to be sutured.

A class X student, Nithya Karun, said, “The driver (of the service bus) was too fast. I saw the bus coming and realised it was going to hit (our vehicle).” He borrowed a mobile phone from a passenger and informed his father about the accident, Nitya Karun's mother said.

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