Overloaded bus overturns near Haryana's Pinjore, 50 injured

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Injured school students being brought for treatment at a hospital after a bus carrying them overturned, at Pinjore in Panchkula district, Monday, July 8, 2024.

Injured school students being brought for treatment at a hospital after a bus carrying them overturned, at Pinjore in Panchkula district, Monday, July 8, 2024.

Chandigarh: An overloaded Haryana Roadways mini bus overturned near Pinjore on Monday, leaving 50 passengers injured, most of them school children, officials said.

The bus veered off the road near a turn when it was passing through a hilly patch near Pinjore in Panchkula district, a police official from Kalka said.

Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg told PTI that after the accident about 50 passengers, most of them children, were brought to hospitals in Panchkula and Pinjore.

Most of them escaped with minor injuries, he said, adding that during the screening, it was found that most of the children were in a state of shock.

"About 23-24 children who were brought are fine. They will be discharged soon. I think only five to seven or maybe even less will remain hospitalised which includes two children," the DC said and added that two-three children have suffered fractures.

However, an elderly woman suffered serious injury and had been referred to PGIMER at Chandigarh, he said.

Some accounts said the woman was on the road when the accident occurred.

The conductor of the bus was among the injured.

Haryana Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta, who is BJP MLA from Panchkula, told reporters at the Panchkula Civil Hospital, that the driver and conductor of the bus have been suspended.

"The bus was overloaded and we have been told that the vehicle's speed was slightly in excess. As it approached a turn, it overturned," Gupta said.

"Our first priority was to rescue and give best treatment to the injured," he added.

When asked if the mini bus was packed beyond capacity, Garg said preliminary reports suggest that the vehicle had a capacity of 40-50, but more people were travelling in it.

"Some children have said the speed of the bus was slightly in excess....A detailed probe is being conducted into the cause of the accident," he said.

Earlier speaking to reporters at the Panchkula civil hospital, Garg said the mini bus of Haryana Roadways overturned near a turn.

"The reasons behind the accident are under investigation. Our main focus at the moment was on rescue. The matter of relief is that all children are stable, no one has a threatening injury or critical injury," Garg said.

In addition to 30 children who were brought to Panchkula Civil Hospital, four adults were also brought there and one of them is a 60-year-old woman, who suffered crush injury on her arm and was referred to PGIMER.

Garg said another injured person has been shifted to ICU.

A passenger on the bus, Jaipal, told reporters in Panchkula that the bus was overcrowded.

"Suddenly, the bus started shaking near a turn and turned turtle," Jaipal said.

Haryana Roadways General Manager of the Panchkula Depot, Ashok Kaushik told PTI that an inquiry will be held into the incident.

On the speaker's assertion that the bus was overloaded and speeding, Kaushik said, "A detailed investigation will be conducted into all aspects".

Gupta said from Tuesday an additional bus will ply on the route for the convenience of the public.