At least seven persons — five lecturers and two students — died and 22 suffered injuries when a college bus collided head-on with a dumper filled with sand near Rajpura village on Saha-Shahzadpur road, National Highway 73, in Ambala district on Tuesday.
The accident occurred around 8 am. The bus was carrying students and lecturers of SRM Global College, Naraingarh and Devi Dayal Institute of Engineering and Technology. The dumper’s driver fled away.
Out of a total of 29 lecturers and students travelling in the bus, six were referred to PGIMER, Chandigarh, while 13 were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Ambala Cantonment. Three injured were being treated at a private hospital in Mahesh Nagar. At least five of the injured suffered severe head injuries and CT-scan was performed on all of them in Ambala Cantonment. The doctors said that all the injured were stable and out of danger.
Among the lecturers who died were Vipin, a resident of Tagore Garden, Ambala Cantonment; Parminder Singh, a resident of Behbalpur village; Kesar Singh, a resident of Sounda village; Deepak Sharma, a resident of Manav Chowk, Ambala City; and Aamir Khan, a resident of Defence Enclave, Ambala Cantt. All of them taught at SRM College, Bhurewala and Devi Dayal College, Mauli.
The two students who died were identified as Manish Kumar, a resident of Ganesh Vihar, Ambala Cantonment; and Ankit Gupta, Babyal Road, Maheshnagar, Ambala Cantonment.
According to the police, the bus was on its way to the college when the accident happened. “The dumper’s driver was overtaking a vehicle.
As a result, he came on the wrong side of the road and collided head-on with the college bus. Earth-moving machines and cranes were used to take out the bodies from the mangled remains of the college bus. Since the dumper was full of sand, which had entered the bus, it took police almost more than an hour to take the bodies out of the bus,” said S S Bhoria, DCP, Ambala (Rural).
The DCP added: “The total casualties are seven as of now. Driver of the dumper Rohit has been arrested. He is also the owner of the dumper. We have booked him under Section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).”
Besides Bhoria, prominent among those who rushed to hospitals to meet the accident victims were Haryana’s Health Minister Anil Vij, Police Commissioner O P Singh, Deputy Commissioner Mandeep Singh Brar and Deputy Commissioner of Police Surender Pal Singh.
“Necessary directions have already been issued to the hospital authorities concerned to take adequate care of all the injured. The state government shall ensure full support to the bereaved families,” Vij said.
The majority of the six injured admitted to the Advanced Trauma Centre of PGIMER have suffered multiple fractures. One of the patients, Karan Uppal (25), has suffered a spine injury. Other injured being treated at PGIMER are Pritam Singh (30), Amit Saini (28), Ajay (20), Manish Goel (43) and Vivek (19).
“My son left for college around 7 am. It was about 8 am when I got a call that the bus in which he goes to college daily has met with an accident. I do not know who called me, but he asked me to reach the Civil Hospital, Ambala Cantonment. I rushed to the hospital where doctors told me that Karan had suffered a spine injury. He was conscious but unable to move his limbs. Doctors told me that he had to be referred to PGI,” said Rajinder Uppal, father of Karan Uppal.
Sukhvir Singh, father of Amit Saini, said, “Besides the head injury, Amit has suffered three fractures in his right leg and two in his left leg.”
While five injured were brought to PGIMER, Chandigarh, between 10.30 am and 11.30 am, the last patient to land at the trauma centre was Manish Goel who was brought from Ambala civil hospital at 3 pm. Manish too suffered head injuries.
“What happened was extremely sad, and it’s a difficult time for all of us. But I have learnt from the injured staff members that the college bus driver was not at fault,” said Roshan Lal Mittal, principal, Devi Dayal Institute of Engineering and Technology, who also visited the hospital.