30 passengers have been injured, one critically, after a bus crashed off a flyover in the Indian city of Chennai. The number 17-M bus, operated by Indian bus company the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), fell off the Anna Gemini flyover in the center of the city after the driver appeared to lose control while turning around a bend.
Of the 60 passengers on the bus, 30 were injured with no casualties. One of the passengers is currently in a critical condition in hospital after fracturing several ribs. The majority of the remaining injured patients have been discharged from local hospitals after being treated for minor injuries. It is fortunate that there were not more serious injuries caused by the crash, as the seat belt did not have seat belts for the passengers. Seat belts are not legally required on passenger buses in India.
The Chennai police department is conducting an investigation into the cause of the accident. According to eye witness reports, the bus appeared to be speeding when it entered a bend on the flyover, at which point the driver lost control and sailed through the side barrier. Some passengers on the bus allege that the driver was using a cellular telephone at the time of the accident, an allegation that is being investigated by officials who are looking into the driver’s phone records.
The MTC bus was in transit from Broadway Street to Vada Palani at the time of the incident. After crashing through the side barrier on the flyover, the bus fell close to 14 feet down onto the adjacent stretch of the highway and came to rest on its side.
The South Chennai Police Force responded promptly to the accident, reaching the scene within minutes and contacting the Fire and Rescue services as well as ambulances to transport the injured passengers to local hospitals. According to the Police Commissioner, JK Tripathy, many of the injured were treated on the scene.
Efforts to remove the wreckage of the bus from the scene were hampered by large crowds of passers by who stopped to view the crushed remains of the bus. Diesel was drained from the site to decrease the risk of a dangerous explosion, and the police force were able to disperse the crowd and remove the wreck within hours of the incident.
If negligence on the part of the bus driver is found to be a contributing cause to the accident, then legal action may be taken against him by the injured passengers or the bus company that he works for.