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40 students of Mumbai school injured in bus accident

The school bus carrying Std X students of Gokuldham High School, Goregaon East, from Dudhni to Khanvel, met with the accident while negotiating a curve at Selty Goratpada at 5.30pm, police said.

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Puja Pednekar

Updated: Dec 20, 2010, 12:52 AM IST

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Within a month of the tragic death of Saurabh Mhatre, who slipped off a toy train during a school trip, students from another city school had a near death experience on their field trip to Silvassa.

At least 40 school children were injured, three of them seriously, when their school bus skidded of Dudhni road in Silvassa on Thursday.

The school bus carrying Std X students of Gokuldham High School, Goregaon East, from Dudhni to Khanvel, met with the accident while negotiating a curve at Selty Goratpada at 5.30pm, police said. They were admitted to a local hospital, and many are still to return home three days later.

“When I heard about the accident, I was reminded of the student of St Francis School who died recently. Luckily, my daughter suffered minor injuries on her forehead and bruises on her limbs. My husband has gone there to bring her back. I am anxiously waiting for her return,” said a parent, requesting anonymity.

Family members of Amit Goriwale, 26, a lab assistant with the school for six years, have brought him back to Mumbai for surgery. Goriwale, who was standing in the front of the bus with the teachers and monitoring students at the time of the accident, suffered back injuries in an attempt to help the children. “Since he was standing, he was hurled across the towards the rear and broke his hip bone. He is traumatised by the incident and does not want to speak to anyone,” said his brother.

Goriwale's family members were informed of the accident on December 16 and they moved him to Diamond Hospital in Mumbai, where he is currently recuperating.

The condition of three people including a girl, a teacher and a lab assistant is stated to be serious. They were brought to the Shree Vinoba Bhave civic hospital for specialised treatment, the police said.

“Preliminary inquiries suggest that the accident took place due to the driver's inexperience. The road to Dudhni is full of bends, curves and mountains. It is an accident-prone area, especially difficult to manoeuvre for new drivers and heavy vehicles,” said CL Tandel, sub inspector, Khanvel police station.

The accident took place on the very first day of the trip. The students had reached Silvassa in the morning and after dropping off their bags in a resort in Khanvel, they headed towards a tourist attraction in Dudhni. While returning the resort, the bus had to pass the risky ghats in Dudhni, when it skidded off the road and toppled on its side.

The impact of the collision was such that it left the bus damaged and the drivers cabin was crushed. “We have brought the bus over to the police station so that the RTO officers can inspect it. It is in a pathetic condition, it is a miracle that the children survived,” Tandel added.

“My child did not go to the trip because she had a karate competition. This incident, has made me trust my parental instincts even more,” said Rahul Patil, whose daughter studies in class 10.

The trustees and the school management reached the scene on Thursday night and informed the parents of the accident, said Goriwale. The school authorities was unable for comment.

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