Three school students were injured when a speeding ambulance hit them while they were standing on a footpath at Bangur Avenue on VIP Road early Tuesday morning.
The students were identified as Rishab Agarwal, Lavnish Choudhury and Sharangsh Bholatia. While Rishab and Lavnish are Class X students, Sharangsh studies in Class XI of St Xaviers school. Eyewitnesses said the boys had been waiting for a bus to go to school when the ambulance hit them.
The three boys fell on the road while the driver of the ambulance tried to speed away, injuring a pedestrian in the process. The students were immediately taken to ILS hospital, where hospital sources said the students were traumatised by the incident. While Lavnish was discharged in the evening, the other two students are still undergoing treatment. The pedestrian was taken to R G Kar Hospital, but was discharged soon afterwards.
Police said initial investigation shows that the ambulance was coming from Barasat North-24 Parganas, and had been headed towards Shyambazar in North Kolkata. Driving at a high speed, the driver took the turn towards Shyambazar road and somehow lost control.
“The driver Mohammed Ali (40) has been arrested,” said a police officer, who denied a theory by locals that the driver was drunk, saying, “Our investigation so far says the driver wasn’t drunk.”
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“I am really annoyed, it’s not just about rash driving. We hardly see any footpath left for pedestrians to stand on. Especially during the morning hours, footpaths are totally captured by illegal parking. Police must intervene and stop people from parking vehicles on the footpaths,” Rajesh Agarwal, father of Rishab, told The Indian Express. According to local residents, vehicles usually drive at a very high speed during morning hours.
“I am really scared. This could have been a fatal accident. I believe people must obey safety rules while driving. We want stern action against the driver of the ambulance,” said Arti Lodha a local resident. Post the incident, Bidhannagar MLA Sujit Bose visited the area and assured locals that the police would soon take stern action against illegal parking.