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6-yr-old girl hit by school bus out of danger

Driver gets bail,school authorities send showcause notice to transporter.

Written by Joshua Patnigere | Mumbai | Published: February 10, 2012 3:45:39 am

A day after she was knocked down by her school bus in Vakola causing grave injuries,six-year-old Zahra Shaikh was declared out of danger by doctors at Nanavati Hospital. The driver,who was arrested after being nabbed by residents,was released on bail on Thursday.

“Zahra was critical on Wednesday but has now been declared out of danger. The main concern of the doctors was the lung contusion,which results from bleeding in internal tissues due to trauma. She is now responding well to medication,” said Dr Ashok Hatolkar,medical superintendent of Nanavati Hospital

An officer from Vakola police station,who did not wish to be named,said: “We booked driver Sanjay Das (29) under sections 279 (rash driving or riding on a public highway) and 337 (causing hurt by an act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code. He was released on bail on Thursday.”

Around 6.15 pm on Wednesday,Zahra,a Class I student of Podar International School in Santacruz,had alighted from the bus and was crossing the road with her brothers Junaid and Zaid when Das — who was listening to music on his earphones — started driving off and rammed into Zahra. Eyewitnesses apparently asked him to stop the vehicle but he couldn’t hear them. The girl got crushed under the front tyre of the vehicle and suffered severe head and chest injuries.

On Thursday,the authorities and transport department of Podar Education Complex decided to a conduct special training programme for all their bus drivers and attendants. Their transport manager,Sanjeev Lele,said they have issued a showcause notice to the transporter and suspended the driver. “It was a shocking incident. We are cooperating with the police to find out the facts. The school suspended Das immediately and issued a showcause notice to the transporter. We are also initiating training sessions with all bus employees,including drivers,cleaners and attendants. The school is in constant touch with the parents as well as the hospital. We are praying for Zahra’s recovery and for her to rejoin the school at the earliest,” he said.

“How can the bus driver listen to music on his earphones while driving? What were the attendants doing? I don’t blame the school,but when we send our kids to school we expect them to be transported safely by trained drivers and attendants. My daughter is seriously injured. The school authorities came to meet her in the hospital and are supporting us,” said Juwairiah Shaikh,her mother.

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