30 hurt as packed bus swerves, hits tree in city

Sunday

An over crowded private bus hit a tree and turned on one side near Wellington in Kolkata on Sunday afternoon leaving 30 passengers injured. The condition of four of them is said to be critical. The bus was travelling to Murshidabad.

An eyewitness said the bus, which was packed with around 150 people — 60 of them on the roof — was moving at a very high speed when suddenly lost control and hit a roadside tree before it turned on its side.

"We boarded the bus in the afternoon. As the inside of the bus was over crowded we climbed on the roof of the bus. Within five minutes of leaving the Dharmatala depot, the bus suddenly swerved right and hit a tree and then turned on its left side. My brother who was just in front of me received injuries on his head and was rushed to a hospital by locals," said Sheikh Imam, who works in a iron factory in Howrah, and was going home to Murshidabad. The injured were taken to SSKM Hospital and Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.

Sheikh Manirul was rescued after locals broke the window pane. "We first went to Sealdah but found that the train was running late. So, we came to Dharmatala to board the bus. The bus was overcrowded," he said.

The accident has raised questions on the policing as how an overcrowded bus with passengers on its roof had managed to escape the eyes of security personnel in the heart of the city. Some even question why the bus was not intercepted by the traffic police.

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