23 injured as BMTC bus hits parapet, falls off old bridge

Accident caused by tipper lorry which hurtled towards the bus on narrow bridge

23 injured as BMTC bus hits parapet, falls off old bridge
A BMTC bus hit the parapet of a bridge and fell into a riverbed near Tavarekere in Magadi taluk, 35 km west of Bengaluru, on Friday morning, leaving at least 23 passengers injured.  The bus (route number 377 B) was heading to Nelamangala from Kengeri when the accident occurred around 9.30 am. It had to pass through an old bridge built on a stream at Varthur, 4 km from Tavare- kere. Only one large vehicle can move on the bridge at a time.

The bus had almost crossed the bridge when a tipper lorry hurtled towards it. The lorry brushed against the driver’s cabin, forcing the bus to go off course. The bus crashed into the parapet which gave away. In no time, the bus plunged 20 feet down into the riverbed, Ramalingaiah, deputy mechanical engineer, BTMC, told DH.

Mallappa, one of the passengers, said the driver had steered to the left to avoid collision with the lorry but the bus hit the parapet and fell off the bridge. Inside the bus, panicked passengers ran amok. “We could not open the doors as they faced the ground and were slammed shut. We broke open the windows and came out. Other passengers also came out similarly,” said Sharanappa, 35, another passenger.

Meanwhile, the tipper lorry driver jumped out and absconded from the spot, leaving his vehicle behind. Police have seized the lorry and are searching for him. The BMTC engineering section staff and police employed a crane to lift the bus. An ambulance arrived at the spot after sometime and took the injured to the government hospital at Tavarekere and two private hospitals. While all the injured passengers are out of danger, the bus driver and three others have suffered serious injuries, Dr Neema, from Sri Krishna Hospital, Gollarahatti, told DH.

Venkatesh, the bus driver, has sustained bleeding inside the head. A passenger named Obaiah, 54, from Challakere, fractured his right thigh. Besides Venkatesh and Obaiah, two others — Devendrappa, 30, a native of Kalaburagi, and Beerappa — will be treated in the ICU for the next two days, Dr Neema added. Most others have sustained injuries on chest, face and legs. 
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