Delhi: Blueline bus crushes 8 to death

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New Delhi, Oct 7: Despite claims of the Delhi Government to rein in errant drivers of rampaging blueline buses, eight people, including five women and a child, were crushed to death and nine injured by a speeding bus on Mathura road near Badarpur in South Delhi this morning.

The bus, plying on route No 460 between Badarpur and Minto road, ploughed into the crowd, which was waiting at the Aligaon railway bridge bus stop at about 1000 hrs.

Delhi Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf has called a high-level meeting of Ministry officials at his residence.

The five women and the child died on the spot while two men were later declared brought dead at hospital.

The injured, including a child, were rushed to AIIMS and Apollo hospitals where their condition was stated to be critical.

The accident, which the driver said took place because of brake failure, took the number of people killed by the rampaging Blueline buses in the capital this year to 93.

Angry local residents immediately took to streets and pelted stones on vehicles and attacked the bus driver. The incensed mob even tried to torch the bus, causing a huge traffic jam for a few hours on the Delhi-Agra road.

Police resorted to lathicharge and lobbed teargas shells to control the mob. Several people were injured in the incident.

Security in the area has been beefed up, however, the situation still remained tense.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Anand Shukla said injured driver Nawab Khan, also undergoing treatment at a hopsital, has been arrested. The bus conductor is absconding.

''Five women and a child died on the spot and the injured have been rushed to hospitals... It is an unfortunate incident and we assure people that the guilty will be punished,'' he added.

The permit of the bus has been cancelled and a criminal case will be filed against the owner of the vehicle, Mahesh Kumar.

The DCP appealed to people to maintain peace in the area.

The driver was reportedly in an inebriated condition.

There have been 488 fatal accidents involving buses in three years and most of them belonged to the Blueline service.

Recently the Delhi Government had launched a ''Fitness-drive'' against the Blueline.

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court on Friday allowed eight months' temporary extension for Blueline buses whose permits were set to expire this year.

The Court order meant at least 1,350 Blueline buses that were set to go off the roads by the end of this year would continue to ply till the fleet was completely phased out as promised by the Delhi government in July.

At present, 3,800 Blueline buses run on Delhi roads, and the temporary relief from the High Court meant the number would remain more or less the same for the major part of next year as well.

UNI

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