Staff Reporter

Tragedy at high noon on Delhi road exposes callous approach to safety of kids

NEW DELHI: In a tragic mishap, two Central School children were killed and seven injured, one of them seriously, when the bus carrying them collided with a truck on Ring Road at Naraina in South-West Delhi on Friday afternoon.

According to the police, the mishap took place near Central School No. 3 around 12-30 p.m. Nearly 35 students were in the bus at the time. The school bus that had broken down was being pushed by students and some passers-by when the engine suddenly roared back to life and raced down the road as the driver failed to jam the brakes. A truck coming in from Dhaula Kuan and heading towards Mayapuri rammed into the front portion of the bus, damaging it completely.

"The bus practically tore through the traffic leaving little time for the truck driver to apply the brakes," said a police officer later.

Six-year-old Mayank, who was sitting in the bus near the front door, was killed on the spot under the impact of collision. Sixteen-year-old Sanjeev and 17-year-old Rahul were flung away while trying to board the bus that had suddenly started moving. They sustained serious head injuries and were rushed to Army Base Hospital. While Sanjeev succumbed to his injuries in the evening, Rahul's condition was reported to be critical.

Six other students who sustained minor injuries were identified as Preeti, Aarti, Shivani, Monika, Sonu, Amit and Abhishek. While Monika, Sonu and Abhishek are students of Class II, Aarti and Shivani are in Class III. Preeti is in Class IV, while Amit in Class VII. All of them were discharged after first aid.

Following the mishap, the drivers of the two vehicles fled from the spot. The police are trying to trace them.

According to the police, the school authorities had apparently ignored the mandatory safety guidelines issued by the Supreme Court. ``The school authorities did not even have a list of the students travelling in the bus,'' said an officer.

The school authorities told the police that Nausena Bagh residents had hired the bus from Shiv Tourist Service and it was their responsibility to ensure the safety of the children. According to the police, no teacher or any responsible elderly person was present in the bus.

Anxious parents of the children had a tough time as the school had made no arrangements to provide information.

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