Karnataka

Seven dead, 10 injured as KSRTC Volvo bus falls off bridge in Hassan taluk

The KSRTC Volvo bus being hauled off.   | Photo Credit: Prakash Hassan

Seven persons died and more than 10 suffered injuries when a KSRTC Volvo bus, on the way to Dharmastala from Bengaluru, fell off a bridge on National Highway 75 near Shantigrama in Hassan taluk around 3 a.m. on Saturday. The bus rammed into the crash guard and fell off the bridge. The front portion of the bus was badly damaged and those dead and who suffered serious injuries were all in the front seats.

The dead included the driver and conductor of the bus. The police have traced the details of four people so far. They are T.D. Diana (22) a physiotherapist and native of Mangaluru, Gangadhara N. (58), a resident of Bapuji Nagar in Bengaluru, Shivappa Chalavadi (45), conductor, a native of Doddaballapura, and Lakshman (50), driver. Gangadhar’s wife Sudha (46) suffered injuries and is being treated at the Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences. The identities of three other victims are yet to be ascertained.

There were 44 passengers in the bus. Negligence of the driver is said to be the cause of the accident. “We were all asleep. Got up when I heard a huge sound”, recalled Vinay Bhat, a software engineer in Bengaluru, who was travelling to Dharmasthala along with his cousin. “There was panic. Nobody knew what had happened. A few people had fallen on me. Somehow I managed to come out of the bus and called up the control room”, he said. Vinay Bhat suffered a bone injury in his left hand.

Passengers who could come out of the bus called up the police and ambulance seeking help. By then residents of the villages nearby and passengers on the road had noticed the accident. “A few members of the public came to our rescue. They pulled out those stuck inside the bus”, said Sridhar Hegde, also a passenger, who suffered an injury on his back.

Shanthigrama police reached the spot and managed the traffic on the highway. SP R.K. Shahapurwad and other senior officers also rushed to the spot and helped the injured reach the hospitals in ambulances. Purushottam B., a resident of Bengaluru, was on the way to Dharmastala to attend a baby’s birthday party in his relative’s place. “I was in deep sleep. I don’t know what happened. I remember someone putting me in an ambulance”, he said.

No seat belts

A couple of passengersfelt that seat belt in the bus could have minimised the casualty. “I normally travel by my personal vehicle. As soon as I sit in my car, I fasten my seat belt. Similarly, when I got into the bus, by practice, my hands went in search of a seat belt. There were no seat belts”, said Vinay Bhat, native of Sirsi, working in Bengaluru.

He suffered a bone fracture because people had fallen on him during the accident. “If seat belt had been made compulsory, many would not been injured. I wish the incident wakes up the authorities concerned to take necessary steps in this regard”, he told The Hindu. Another passenger Sridhar Hegde said he had booked seats for himself and his cousin. “As I booked at the last minute, I got the last seats. Those died were all in the front seats”, he said.

₹3 lakh ex-gratia

Transport Minister H.M. Revanna has announced an ex-gratia of ₹ 3 lakh to each of the families of the dead. Expressing shock over the incident, he said a team of officers would probe the cause. “The department will bear the medical expenses of all those injured in the incident”, he said.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 12:42:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/seven-dead-10-injured-as-ksrtc-volvo-bus-falls-off-bridge-in-hassan-taluk/article22435422.ece

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