Theog HRTC bus accident probe report says bus was unfit, no crash-barriers on accident spot
SHIMLA- The report of the magisterial inquiry ordered into the May 21 Bajrolipul bus accident that killed 11 persons and left 21 injured has indicted the Himachal Road Transport Corporation and its driver. It stated that the driver had failed to apply brakes and the tie rod attached to the steering broke while he was giving pass to a Maruti car on the Sainj-Deha-Chopal-Nerwa road.
The driver, who died in the mishap, failed to negotiate the curve and the bus plunged into 50 ft deep gorge.
The inquiry report, which was submitted to the ADM, Law and Order, Shimla, GS Negi today by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Theog, stated that there was no crash barrier on the accident-prone spot between Balghar and Bajrolipul on the Sainj-Deha-Chopal-Nerwa road. What is surprising is the fact that the HRTC has issued the ‘bus fitness certificate’ (valid till 2017) despite knowing that the tie rod was broken.
The ill-fated HRTC bus (HP 42-0958) was serviced on May 20 as per the HRTC claims, was transferred from Keylong depot to Taradevi and had run 3.51 lakh km. Its roof blew off raising questions over its make.
As Bajrolipul is 1 km away from Balghar, where 15 people were killed and 50 injured on May 26, 2014, the inquiry report that runs into 120 pages has asked the Public Works Department to install crash barriers at all sharp and blind curves. The inquiry officer interviewed the bus survivors, eyewitnesses and locals before reaching a conclusion. The survivors and the locals told the inquiry officer that the lives could be saved had there been crash barriers.
SDM, Theog, BR Bhardwaj said the inquiry report had been submitted to the ADM. “We have tried to examine every aspect,” he added.