The eight mechanics, all employees of the depot, were resting when an MTC bus rammed into a wall near them, burying them in the debris. 

Two mechanics killed 6 others injured as bus hits wall of Vadapalani depot in Chennai
news Accident Monday, July 29, 2019 - 07:52

Two mechanics were killed and six others injured in a freak accident at the Vadapalani bus depot in Chennai. The incident occurred early Sunday morning, around 12.45 am when a Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) driver named Balamurugan was parking the bus in the depot after the day's work. 

According to authorities, Balamurugan, instead of stopping short of the wall meant to indicate his parking position, rammed into it, causing the bricks to collapse. On the other side of the wall were eight mechanics - all employees of the state transport department - who were resting in the open air. The depot did not have a separate room for the employees to rest. 

When the bus rammed into the wall, the eight men were buried in the debris. The fire service personnel rushed to the spot to rescue the victims.  

The incident has also prompted questions on the lack of infrastructure for employees of the transport department, involved in operating the buses. 

Two mechanics - Barathi (32) and Sekhar (48) - succumbed to their injuries before they arrived at the  Kilpauk Government Medical College and Hospital. Incidentally, Barathi had only been married for 24 days. 

“He was called from work in just two days after getting married. They didn’t give him leave and kept calling at least 10 times a day," says Nageshwari, Barathi's wife. "He was at home only for four days. He told me that they weren’t giving him leave. He left home on Saturday evening. I came to know about the accident only in the morning, around 4 am,” she manages to tell the reporters in between sobs.

Barathi's sister Pachaiammal, on the other hand, alleges that the lack of sufficient facilities at the depot is to be blamed for her brother's death. 

"He just got married. What answers will we give to his young wife?" asks a tearful Pachaiammal. "They make him work day and night and don't even give him a room to rest," she wails in anger. 

The other six injured employees are undergoing treatment.

Transport authorities, meanwhile, are trying to investigate the cause of the accident and identify methods to prevent risk to drivers. 

"The exact reason for the accident is yet to be determined. The Motor Vehicle inspector will inspect the bus, conduct inquiries with the driver and submit a report in a day or two," says J Radhakrishnan, Principal Secretary, Tamil Nadu Transport Department. 

As far as the lack of rest areas for employees is concerned, he explains that the government is working towards making bus depot revenue-generating and providing additional spaces for transport employees. 

"We have a total of 322 bus depots and over 21,000 buses. We have 74 new depots, of which the construction of 48 depots has been completed. We have huge pockets of space for bus depots. A government order has already been issued to develop these spaces and we are working on it," he adds. 

The bus driver, who was unhurt, has been arrested by the Vadapalani police. 

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