The police have subjected the driver to a medical test

School bus rams into pedestrians students injured school refuses to take responsibilityImage:
news Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 10:02

The Narayana e-Techno school authorities have washed their hand off taking responsibility for Tuesday’s incident in which their school bus rammed into a footpath, killed one on the spot and grievously injured another at Geddalahalli in Bengaluru.

According to The New Indian Express, thirteen students in the bus had a narrow escape with three sitting next to the driver suffering minor injuries. Deceased Shoukat Ali (40) and the injured Nayaz Ali (45), both from West Bengal, were working in a BWSSB water purifying unit. They were having tea on the footpath after their shift when they were run over. Both were crushed between the bus and the shutters of the closed shop.

Shoukath sustained severe injuries on his head and was immediately shifted to Nimhans, where he died. His friend suffered a fractured leg in the accident. The children were given first-aid in the nearby hospital.

The Times of India reported that, the driver, Rafael, 20, said he felt dizzy and claimed he was an epileptic.

However, the police said that he did not suffer any epileptic attack at the time of the accident. They said the cause of the accident appeared to be rash and negligent driving.

The officials have also subjected him to a medical test and said he was not under the influence of alcohol.

The police blamed the school authority for going light on the safety of children. However, the school shifted the blame on the private agency for not checking up the health records of the driver.

School authorities washed their hands of the issue, saying background and medical checks need to be done by the private agency they had hired for providing school bus services.

The TOI quoted Sudhakar Chilla, head-operations, Narayana Group, saying, “This is not our own bus. We hired them from a private service provider. We trust them to do background and medical checks before hiring the driver.”

The accident happened around 7:45 am. The driver had picked up a few students from Banaswadi and had reached Geddalahalli when he lost control of the bus, which swerved to the left and as it rammed into a footpath, the students were thrown off their seats. Most students escaped with bruises.

The children in the bus were immediately brought out of the bus and given first-aid at a nearby hospital. Parents of most children rushed to the spot and picked up their wards. 

DCP traffic (east) CK Babu said that the police will ascertain if the school could be held accountable for negligence. “It is schools which should ensure that their drivers are medically fit. If we find during investigation that the school was negligent, then we will book the school.”

Every applicant is supposed to provide a medical certificate and state whether he or she suffers from illnesses like epilepsy.

The newspaper quoted the transport commissioner, Ramegowda saying, “He must have concealed it when he came for a licence. However, as part of the 12-point guidelines, we have instructed schools to get medical tests done on drivers to ensure such incidents don't take place.”