CHENNAI: A 42-year-old woman sustained minor injuries after she slipped through a hole in the floor of a moving MTC bus on Tuesday. The incident occurred when the bus, bound for Vallalar Nagar from Thiruverkadu (route 59), was near Aminjikarai. Notably, the bus was certified fit by the RTO last month.
Sources said the woman was seated in the rear end of the bus when she accidentally slipped through the damaged floor while the bus was still in motion. Other passengers quickly raised an alarm, prompting the bus to come to a halt. The woman, who was hanging onto the floor, was then rescued.
She suffered minor injuries, and was provided first aid at the outpatient section of Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital. Subsequently, commuters disembarked from the bus and transferred to another one.
Following the incident, Alby John Varghese, managing director of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), ordered the suspension of both the Basin Bridge depot manager and the technical assistant responsible for the bus’ maintenance. Varghese told TNIE, “We have formed special teams to inspect the buses and their maintenance at the depot. We have assigned officers to inspect depots at night when the buses undergo maintenance. Directions have also been issued to ensure the strength of all MTC buses’ floors.”
Moreover, Varghese asserted that the bus in question has got a valid FC.“It was a failure on part of MTC staff at the maintenance depot to report the damage to higher authorities,” said an MTC official.
With a fleet capacity of 3,233 buses, MTC operates 1,559 ordinary buses, 147 express ones, 1,333 deluxe ones, 48 AC buses and 146 small buses, serving about 28 lakh commuters on the daily. Except for the deluxe, AC, and small varieties, the majority of MTC buses are old with damaged roofs, windows, and floors. However, unlike private buses and other heavy vehicles such as trucks and vans, MTC buses are issued fitness certificates for six months instead of 12.
Aminjikarai traffic police said that no case was registered as the woman did not want to file a complaint.