As many as eight school students, including four girls, were injured after the autorickshaw in which they were travelling collided with a lorry near Sangham-Sarat Theatre Junction in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday. Among the students, a 14-year old girl has sustained severe head injuries and is said to be in serious condition, as per the police. The police suspect negligent and rash driving of both the autorickshaw and lorry driver may have led to the accident.
The incident occurred at around 7.40 a.m. when the auto-rickshaw carrying eight students was heading from Dondaparthy to a private school at Ram Nagar. While crossing the four-road junction near Sangham-Sarat Theatre, a speeding lorry which was heading towards RTC Complex route from Railway Station Road hit the autorickshaw. Several students including a girl flew out of the vehicle due to the impact, as the three-wheeler overturned.
Locals rushed to the spot and helped the injured children. Both the lorry driver and the autorickshaw driver were held by the locals and then were taken into police custody.
East Circle Traffic police, III Town and II Town police reached the spot and shifted the school students to Seven Hills Hospital at Ram Nagar.
Bhavesh, a Class VII student, said that he boarded the autorickshaw at around 7.30 a.m. and sat beside the driver. He said that a speeding lorry had hit them all of a sudden and he flew out of the vehicle. Some people picked me up and comforted me, he said.
Passengers more than permissible limits: DCP
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I), K. Srinivasa Rao, Additional DCP (Traffic) G. Srinivasa Rao, ACP (Dwaraka Zone) RVSN Murthy, III Town Police Station Inspector, K. Rama Rao visited the hospital and spoke with the injured children.
Speaking to The Hindu, DCP K. Srinivasa Rao said that among the eight students, three were discharged after administering first aid.
“As per the doctors, of the five being treated in the hospital, four are out of danger. But one girl is said to be serious. We have spoken to the hospital authorities and asked them to provide all medical help,” he said.
The DCP also said that the autorickshaw driver had boarded more than the permissible limit of passengers. He said that the police investigation will ascertain whose negligence has led to the accident.
“We appeal to the parents to check that the autorickshaw in which they send their children to the schools are not ferrying more number of passengers than the permissible limits. Moreover, they should send the children at least half-an-hour before the school timings, as last minute rush will lead to over-speeding. They should only appoint good disciplined drivers,” he said.