Driver saves 70 passengers in Odisha's Balasore before dying of heart attack
BALASORE : A bus driver saved the lives of nearly 70 passengers after steering the vehicle to safety despite suffering heart attack behind the wheel in Balasore’s Nilagiri on Tuesday.
The driver, identified as 43-year-old Sheikh Akhtar of Howrah in West Bengal, was later pronounced dead by doctors in the hospital. The incident took place at Patpur chowk within Nilagiri police limits.
Sources said on Monday evening, around 70 tourists from Howrah embarked on a trip to Panchalingeswar temple in Balasore district in a bus which was being driven by Akhtar. Early in the morning on Tuesday, they were about to reach the shrine when Akhtar began to experience severe pain in his chest. He immediately steered the bus to the roadside and stopped the vehicle before losing consciousness. One of the passengers Sudarshan Das said “When the bus stopped suddenly, some of us went to the driver’s cabin and found him unconscious behind the wheel. We immediately got down the bus and sought help from locals.”
Villagers of Patpur arranged an ambulance and rushed Akhtar to nearby Nilagiri hospital. However, he was declared dead by the doctors. Medical reports later revealed that the driver suffered a cardiac arrest. Locals praised the heroic act of Akhtar which saved the lives of the tourists. Mihir Behera of Patpur village, an eyewitness, said a major accident was averted due to the driver’s presence of mind.
A local resident who knows driving, piloted the tourist bus to Nilagiri town. Later, the tourists returned to West bengal.