Charishma K. woke up from her deep sleep after hearing a loud thud and found that the right side of the bus in which she was travelling was completely open.
A passenger in the Garuda Volvo bus of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation that met with a major tragedy at Avinashi on the Coimbatore-Salem early on Thursday, she had boarded the bus from Bangalore and was on the way to her cousin’s house in Ernakulam.
“My seat number was 3 and it was on the left side of the bus. I found that the right side of the bus was completely damaged when I suddenly woke up. It was all over in flash. I am still under a state of shock,” she told The Hindu over telephone.
Charishma said that she then heard the voices of the local residents, who had rushed to the accident spot immediately. “We could not get out through the main exit door as it got jammed owing to the impact of the accident. Those who came to help us later broke the glass panes of the windows and rescued us,” she said.
Charishma, a bank employee in Bangalore and a resident of Kannur, said she was not injured. “However, I am feeling pain in my legs and it may be due to the impact. I am now travelling to my cousin’s house in Ernakulam in a bus,” she said.
The images of the bodies lying on the road refuse to leave the memory of Sreelakshmi Menon, who was seated in the first row of the bus on the left side. “I was asleep and woke up after experiencing a huge jerk. I still do not know how I got out as the exit door was stuck. It was only after watching the news later that I realised that a trailer had rammed into our bus as I could not spot it after coming out,” she said.
An employee with a leading e-commerce company in Bangalore, Sreelakshmi was on her way to her residence near Amala Hospital in Thrissur. “I was taken in an ambulance along with a few others to Revathi Medical Centre in Tirupur, where I was administered first aid. An X-ray was also taken and doctors advised that I could leave as there were no major injuries and had suffered only a few bruises,” she said.
Sreelakshmi was lucky enough to recollect that her college-mate’s residence was at Tirupur. “Incidentally, her house was close to the accident spot and I was there till my parents came from Thrissur. We are now on our way to Thrissur,” she said.