Footboard travel in Chennai claimed the life of a 17-year-old student on Friday, after he rammed into a pillar in Vadapalani. The twelfth standard student was travelling on the footboard with a dozen other students and were jumping down at every stop.
As the bus was moving from a stop hardly one km from his school, S Subash was seen hanging on to the railing of the window near the last seat. This is when he hit a pillar.
Two other students, who were pulled down along with him, also suffered injuries. The incident occurred at around 9am.
S Subash, was a native of Nekrundram and was travelling to the PCKG Government Higher Secondary School in Kodambakkam.
The Deccan Chronicle reported that the bus (27C) had stopped at Ram theatre to board passengers, but was already packed with several students, who were hanging on to the vehicle.
“Subash was travelling on footboard and had got down to allow passengers to get down,” a police officer told DC.
CCTV footage shows many students travelling by footboard, a dangerous practice that MTC buses do not actively try to curb.
In 2012, four students, were killed when a lorry hit them while they were travelling on the footboard of a bus.
After the incident, the Madras High Court had even suggested rustication of repeat offenders.
Following many such incidents, the Education Department in 2015 issued a notification that free bus passes of students travelling on footboards will be cancelled.
A research done by students of the Anand Institute of Technology had found that in 2012, around 30 people died due to accidents caused during footboard travelling in Chennai.
The police said that Subash tried to board the bus again as it started moving, when the vehicle moved close to a pillar, which the deceased rammed into.
Subash was rushed to a private hospital, where he was declared brought dead.
His friends, Jeeva and Karthik, who tried to hold him, also fell on the road, and were admitted to a nearby hospital for treatment.
His body was later moved to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital for a post-mortem.
“I got a call from the school at around 9.30 am saying my son was injured in a road accident. After my wife and I reached, they said he is dead,” Subash's father, Srinivasan, told The New Indian Express.
The TNIE report also quotes a policeman saying that the boys did not pay heed to several warnings from the bus driver and conductor.
At the same time, the police also held the driver responsible for not closing the automatic doors of the vehicle.
The Pondy Bazaar police registered a case under section 304 (A) of IPC (causing death by negligence), along with sections dealing with rash driving and causing injury to others, against the MTC bus driver Parthiban (30), and arrested him.