A luxury bus carrying 70 school students of Ahmedabad-based Vivekananda Higher Secondary School skidded off the road and rammed into trees and other buses near Paravdi village in Godhra early on Tuesday morning. While the conductor of the bus died on the spot, 25 students were severely injured. They were all rushed to Godhra Civil Hospital.
According to preliminary investigations, the driver of the bus with a Uttar Pradesh number plate allegedly lost control over the steering and skidded off the road. The conductor has been identified as Dharmendra Singh Bhadoria, a resident of Agra.
Police said several students received minor injuries and they are all undergoing treatment.
According to the police, there were 70 students on the bus along with 10 teachers, six helping staff and cleaners, five cooks, the driver and the conductor. The students were aged between 14-16 years. They had gone to Ujjain on an educational trip organised by the school and were returning to Ahmedabad when the accident happened, police said.
Traumatised parents had immediately rushed to the school and were later taken to Godhra.
“The bus had a capacity of 58 people but had 107 people on board. The official number of people from the school on board were around 90, the rest we are suspecting were family members who were taken along for the trip,” said Investigating Officer M V Chautana.
One of the parents lodged a complaint against principal of the school Punjabilal Sen, who is also the trustee of the school and was a part of the trip, owner of the travel company Sitaram Sharma and driver Shyam Prasad, who is absconding.
All the three have been booked under IPC sections 207, 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and under Motor Vehicles Act sections 177, 184 (driving dangerously), 134 (duty of driver in case of accident and injury to a person).
“We are in the process of collecting evidences against those named in the FIR. We are finding out if they had the valid permits and the documents for such a tour.,” Chautana added. Panchmahals MP Prabhatinh Chauhan paid a visit to the hospital. “It’s a very sad incident. Had there been any more casualties the school would have closed,” he said.