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Woman falls through hole in moving bus in south India

Floor of moving bus caves month after vehicle certified fit to ply on roads

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Thursday 08 February 2024 08:49 GMT
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Passenger falls through moving bus in Chennai, India
Passenger falls through moving bus in Chennai, India (AP)

A woman narrowly escaped death after slipping through a hole in the floor on a moving bus in India's southern city of Chennai.

The 35-year-old woman was traveling in the Tamil Nadu state-run Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) bus on Tuesday morning, when a chunk of the floor of the bus caved.

The woman was seated at the rear end of the bus during the incident and sustained minor injuries after falling through the hole.

"The wooden flooring broke and I suddenly fell through the gaping hole," she said, recalling the "scary experience".

"Almost my entire body went through and I just folded my legs. I could have died. Only after I screamed did the driver stop the bus,” the woman told a local news channel.

The woman was rescued by fellow passengers, who rushed her to Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital for treatment.

Following the incident, the remaining passengers disembarked from the bus and continued their commute in another vehicle.

The damaged bus was reportedly certified fit to ply by the Regional Transport Office in January.

Alby John Varghese, managing director of the MTC, ordered the suspension of a depot manager and the technical assistant responsible for the bus’ maintenance.

“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," he told The New Indian Express.

"Directions have also been issued to ensure the strength of all MTC bus floors.”

The incident triggered a political row in the state, with opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member K Annamalai trailing guns at Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-led state government.

"This is an example of the condition in which the DMK government is operating in Tamil Nadu," Mr Annamalai said.

In 2012, a seven-year-old girl was run over by her school bus after slipping through a hole right under her seat in Chennai.

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