Timely action by the driver of an MTC bus (route number 29C, Besant Nagar to Perambur) averted a major accident after a tree fell in Shastri Nagar, Adyar, on Friday morning.

The bus driver D. Mahendran said he left Besant Nagar terminus around 10.35 a.m. After crossing the Vannanthurai bus stop, he was driving at a normal speed. When the bus was nearing a dental clinic on Mahatma Gandhi Road, he saw a tree slowly falling on to the road. Without any hesitation, he accelerated, he said.

However, one of the branches hit the bus on the left top of its rear portion, causing minor damage to the vehicle. None of the 45-odd passengers were injured. S. Pushkala, a passenger, said the bus was nearing the Shastri Nagar bus stop when there was a huge noise and leaves and dust filled the bus. However, the driver without delay boldly accelerated and saved the passengers, she said.

Following the accident, buses from Besant Nagar terminus to other destinations were diverted through Shastri Nagar 1st Main Road. Similarly, buses and other heavy vehicles coming from Besant Avenue and going towards Thiruvanmiyur were also diverted through this stretch. The traffic on Mahatma Gandhi Road was disrupted for nearly two hours. Police personnel from Law and Order and Traffic wings, with the help of locals, cut the branches to regulate the traffic.

D. Narasimhan, professor, Botany department, Madras Christian College, identified the tree as Enterolobium cyclocarpum, a tree of South American origin that was planted extensively in the city.

The tree, known as ‘Yaanai Kaadhu Maram’ in Tamil, is an avenue species. Forest department officials said it is an exotic tree. Due to its shallow roots, even a slight wind would uproot them, said the officials.

More In: Chennai