SETC bus was travelling from Bangalore to Chennai

S. Krishnamurthy and his family were on their way to Chennai from Bangalore to attend a relative’s wedding.

But they did not get to take part in the celebrations as the State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) bus they were travelling in rammed into a pillar at Maduravoyal on Tuesday morning. Two persons including the bus conductor died and around 15 were injured.

According to the police, the SETC bus left Bangalore around 9 p.m. on Monday. On Tuesday, around 4.45 a.m., when it was passing through Maduravoyal, the vehicle hit the pillar. The structure had been erected on the road for the Chennai Port-Maduravoyal elevated express highway project, which was suspended in March 2012. “The left side of the bus rammed against the structure,” said a police source.

In the impact, Kamakshi (44), a passenger, was injured and died on the way to a hospital. She was coming to Chennai to meet her son. The bus conductor Thayappan (42) died on the spot. The driver Manikandaraj sustained serious injuries, including in the abdomen as his stomach hit the steering wheel. He is undergoing treatment in the ICU of Kilpauk Medical College Hospital.

Many of the passengers suffered fractures. Among the injured was S. Krishnamurthy (59) from Bangalore. He, his wife and two children too were on the way to Chennai to attend a wedding function. “We were supposed to get down at Arumbakkam. Around 4.30 a.m., we woke up and when the bus was approaching Maduravoyal we collected our baggage,” said Mr. Krishnamurthy.

He claimed the driver and conductor were talking to each other before the accident occurred and Manikandaraj might have been distracted. “Around 4.45 a.m., I saw the pillar through the front glass pane. In the next instant the bus rammed into it. My family members sustained injuries. Many others were injured but we could not do much to help them,” said Krishnamurthy.

Part of the front portion of the bus was damaged in the accident.

An official of the National Highways Authority of India said they had placed barricades along a 3-km stretch, where pillars have been constructed on the median.

“Traffic police had removed the barricades last year. Despite several requests to reinstall them, there has been no response from them,” he said.

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