No clarity yet over identity of victims

Confusion prevailed for most part of the Wednesday as City-based Jabbar Travels did not have a complete list of passengers who travelled on the ill-fated bus that was bound for Hyderabad. 

Shakeel Jabbar, owner of Jabbar Travels, said that the list was inaccurate. He said the company runs two Volvo buses to Hyderabad every night from Kalasipalya. Till Tuesday night, the website of the company showed two trip sheets and had bookings open for two trips.

 As one of the buses developed technical snag, some passengers who had booked seats for the said bus were accommodated on the other, which was gutted in the accidental fire. Others were put on buses run by other operators. “So, even we don’t know exactly as to who all were on the ill-fated bus. The two trip sheets were merged because of the last minute changes,” he said. 

Denying that the bus was overloaded, Shakeel said there were 44 passengers when it left Kalasipalya. However, it is clear that the bus was carrying more passengers as 45 people have already been reported dead. Five passengers, the driver and the cleaner of the bus survived the tragedy. This means, the number of the people on the bus was at least 51.

Shakeel claimed that the driver might have picked up some passengers on the way and they may have been accommodated in the driver's berth on the last row.  In some cases, the list has the name of only passenger who had booked the seat and not of  those accompanying him. Though the list has mobile numbers of the passengers mentioned against their names, they were of little use as these passengers were killed in the accident. This led to difficulty in contacting their families, he explained. 

Police help sought

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said the Bangalore City police had been told to trace the residential addresses and families of all the victims. A senior police official said that they were in the process of tracking down the families on the basis of the mobile numbers the passengers had submitted to the travel agency.

Passengers who had boarded the bus, according to the list, are: Mohammad Asif, Phani Kumar (two seats), Shakti Kant, Amer, Roohiya, Ramaraju Dinesh, Vedapathi, Adori, Jyoti, Prashanth Gupta, Mohsin, Venkatesh (two seats), Chandrashekhar, Kiran, Shoaib (two seats) , Azhar, Sreekrishna, Azmatullah (two seats), Gali Mary (two seats), Gourav T, Akshay, Raghuveer, an illegible name only listed with initials HP, P Jalaluddin, Suresh Babu, Mohammad Sardar, Priyanka, Harish, Manjunath, PNV Rajesh (two seats), Girdhar NS (two seats), Farooq Ali, Ashutosh, Sonu and Yuvraj (two seats). In all, there were 44 passengers, according to the list. But, the names of none of the five survivors and many of the deceased do not figure in the list. 

Chamarajpet MLA B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, who was at Jabbar Travels’ office said, “We are co-ordinating with the Andhra Pradesh government for all assistance. We also request our government to pay compensation to the families of the victims.”

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