Controversial statements over bus accident in Vijayawada’s PNBS put passengers, public in confusion

A view of the PNBS bus station, in Vijayawada, in which an RTC bus rammed into the platform.
| Photo Credit: K. V. S. Giri

Controversial statements given by Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) officials and the bus driver over the bus accident in Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS), created confusion among the passengers and the public.

The air-conditioner Vijayawada-Guntur non-stop service, suddenly rammed into the bus station from Platform No.12 hitting the passengers sitting in the chairs, killing three persons and injuring two others, on November 6.

Speaking to The Hindu, bus driver V. Prakasam said the condition of the bus was not good and there was a problem in the gear box, which I could not observe while taking the vehicle out of the Auto Nagar depot.

“I tried to apply reverse gear to go back, but the gear got struck. Then I tried to move a little forward, but the vehicle suddenly moved with a high speed, stepped up the platform and hit the chairs,” said sixty-year-old Prakasam.

However, APSRTC vice-chairman and managing director (VC&MD) Dwaraka Tirumala Rao said the condition of the Metro Luxury bus which caused the accident was good.

“The vehicle was in complete fit condition. An inquiry has been ordered and the exact reason for the accident could be known within 24-hours,” Mr. Tirumala Rao said.

“The driver resumed duties after some sickness. Prakasam is having accident-free record in his service. We are trying to ascertain whether the accident due to technical problem or human error,” the VC&MD said.

Krishnalanka CI M.V. Durga Rao said the bus hit the passengers waiting in the station and halted in front of the stalls.

Police registered a case and took the driver into custody for questioning. Senior RTC officials were inquiring into the reasons for the cause of the accident.

Meanwhile, leaders of CPI, CPI(M) and other parties alleged that the accident occurred due to use of outdated vehicles.

“Only a few passengers were waiting on Platform No.12, where the bus ran into the station and halted. If the bus hit the shops, the toll would have been more. I am very lucky,” said a shopkeeper, who escaped from the accident.

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