In a gruesome accident that brought home the perils of footboard travelling, four students were fatally caught between a speeding city bus and a lorry on Rajiv Gandhi Salai on Monday. Two of them were college students, while the other two were going to school.
The accident involving route number 519 deluxe bus took place around 8 a.m. close to Srinivasa Nagar 7th Main Road at Kandanchavadi. Chandan, an eyewitness, said the lorry was taking a left turn next to his fruit juice shop when the jam-packed bus was about to pass it.
“The bus was coming really fast, and had passengers, including youngsters, hanging on the rear footboard. It passed the lorry, but not before a few boys on the footboard were crushed against the lorry.”
Three boys, two in school uniform, died on the spot, while four others were injured. “We rushed the injured to Lifeline Hospital nearby, but one more boy died on the way,” said real estate broker Manickam.
The victims were identified as Manoj Kumar (18), a student of Central Polytechnic College in Taramani, Sekar Settu (18), B. Com student at Government Arts College in Nandanam, both residents of Perungudi, Balamurugan (16), a class X student of a private school in T Nagar, a resident of Semmenchery, Vijayan (17), a class XII student of a private school in Santhome, a resident of Kannagi Nagar. Yubesh (14) and Manikandan (16), both school students, and Parthiban (18), a polytechnic student, escaped with minor injuries.
The lorry with Andhra Pradesh registration was driven by Ramaniah, who fled after the accident.
Police said bus driver Ashok Kumar failed to factor in the passengers hanging from the rear footboard while passing the lorry.
The police have arrested him and conductor Udayakumar under Sections 304 A (causing death by negligence) and 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life) of IPC.