SEVEN persons were injured Wednesday after a double-decker BEST bus crashed into the branches of a tree on a road divider at the Bandra-Kurla Complex. The Kurla-bound bus was on the lane alongside the road divider despite the BKC having a dedicated bus lane.
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According to eyewitnesses, a big branch pierced through the roof of the vehicle (route number 310) when the driver tried to overtake another bus plying on the middle lane.
The incident took place opposite the family court building. The upper deck of the bus was seriously damaged, with all the windows on the right side smashing. “It was a major collision. Traffic was halted for quite some time due to the accident, “ said Omprakash Chaurasia, who runs a pan-stall near the family court.
“The crash was so loud that initially, we thought a huge tree had fallen on the road.The bus was plying outside the dedicated lane,” said Surymal Tripathi, an eyewitness.
The seven injured include Farhan Shaikh (18), Manoj Saroj (22), Mushraf Saroj (16), Santlal Saroj (39) and Subodh Singh (40), who were taken to Guru Nanak Hospital in Bandra for treatment. The other two injured, Praful More (35) and Arvind Sanghani (45), were admitted to Sion hospital .
“My nephew was injured by glass shards. He could have lost his eye. Though he tried to duck, his eyes, lips, chin and hands were badly injured,” said Mohammed Naim Saroj, uncle of Mushraf, who sitting on the second seat inside the bus.
Mushraf, a regular commuter on the route, was returning from his college in Bandra when the accident took place.
“It was shocking. I tried to save myself by ducking, but it was so sudden that I could not do anything. I am happy that nothing grievous happened to me,” he said.
None of those injured were in a serious condition, said authorities from both the hospitals.
“There were at least 15 persons sitting on the upper deck of the bus. As the tree trunk pierced the bus through the right, those sitting on that side were injured most,” said Santlal Saroj, a furniture polisher, who sustained injuries to his neck, head and hand.
The driver Dhondu Patil (35) has been taken into custody at BKC police station but was later released on bail.
BEST officials said a case would be registered after the investigation was over. Sources from BEST confirmed that Patil was inducted into service for driving buses only in 2015.
“ We will pay for all the medical expenses of the victims of the accident and also take action against the driver if he is found guilty,” said a BEST official.