A Class X boy, travelling on an MTC bus footboard was on Friday fatally run over by the vehicle near Palavakkam after he slipped and came under its wheels. He was going to school in the bus.
Ironically, the automatic doors of the vehicle were not closed while the bus was moving on the accident-prone East Coast Road (ECR).
The incident was similar to the accident last December on the same stretch in which footboard travel claimed the lives of four students and reiterated the fact that no lessons have been learnt on the perils of travelling on the footboard.
Around 8.10 am, 15-year-old T Kannan boarded the bus (route 19G) at Neelankarai, to reach the Chennai Higher Secondary School at Tiruvanmiyur. Police said the bus had hardly moved a few metres from the Palavakkam bus stop when Kannan lost balance and slipped on the road.
“It seemed that the bus driver had applied brakes which caused the boy to lose balance. As he fell from the front entrance, his head came under the rear wheels of the bus. Some of us rushed to the spot, but the boy was already motionless and it was evident that he died instantly,” said Kamatchi, a local who witnessed the mishap.
Kannan’s schoolmates, travelling in the bus, informed his parents, Jayalakshmi and Thangaraj, about his death.
A pall of gloom descended on Kumaraguru Avenue at Neelankarai where the family has been residing for more than 15 years.
Quoting Kannan’s schoolmates, Thangaraj said his son fell down as one of the passengers was trying to get down by pushing aside others standing on the footboard. “His friends say a girl wanted to get down and in the melee she pushed the bag Kannan was carrying on his back, making him lose his balance,” Thangaraj said.
The Adyar Traffic Investigation Wing police said the bus doors were not locked. “The bus had automatic doors. But they were not locked. We’ve arrested bus driver Hari Krishna for the accident as it is an offence to drive a bus when passengers are standing on the footboard,” said inspector Ravi Kumar.