VILLUPURAM: It was a miraculous escape for a bike rider who was hit by an omni bus on the Tiruchy-Chennai National Highway near Ulundurpet after surviving an accident on Sunday night. On collision, both the bike and the bus, with 36 passengers in it, caught fire but there were no casualties.
According to the police, Rajesh (33), hailing from Thoothukudi, was hit by an unidentified vehicle on the highway. He was lying in the middle of the road in a dazed condition when, around 1 am, the omni-bus, plying from Chennai to Munnar, hit him again. Bus driver Murugan (36) of Munnar had apparently spotted Rajesh on the road but it was too late when he applied the brakes. Rajesh was reportedly thrown off to a side of the road in the impact.
In the collision, the bike caught fire which soon spread to the front end of the bus. Murugan immediately alerted the passengers who opened the emergency exit and ran out. In the chaos, Radhika (38), of Azhaganayakanpatti in Dindigul district, suffered severe injuries. On information, the Edaikkal police and fire and rescue personnel rushed to the spot. The fire was extinguished after a two-hour operation but the bus had been completely gutted.
Rajesh, Radhika and another passenger who suffered injuries during the rescue operation were rushed to a hospital in Ulundurpet and later shifted to JIPMER. The Edaikkal police registered a case and further investigation was on. Traffic on the stretch was affected for around three hours.