Level-headed driver steers bus clear of mishap

Koraput: Averting a major mishap that could have taken many lives, the driver of a government bus, despite a major technical snag, showed levelheadedness to steer the vehicle clear of any eventuality saving lives of as many as 45 passengers on board.

The incident occurred today morning at around 7.45 am when the government bus going towards Umerkote from Berhampur encountered a mechanical snag in the form of brake failure at Ghatghumar Chhak on the Jeypore-Koraput ghat.

Caught between the gorge on one side, mountain on the other and the terrorised passengers inside, the driver, Lingaraj Pradhan had to manoeuvre the bus which was gaining speed on the descent on the ghats.

Showing presence of mind, the driver then decided to ram the bus head-on into the stone walls of the mountain bringing the vehicle to a standstill and preventing a major accident.

“We all could have died. But the driver chose to steer the bus towards the mountains which saved our lives,” said an injured passenger.

“When I started descending the ghats everything was okay. But after crossing two to three turns I lost the brakes. I was terrified and was praying to God to help me save my passengers,” said Lingaraj.

While the helper of the bus and a passenger sustained injuries on their head, another 5 passengers suffered minor injuries. All of them were later admitted to the Jeypore sub-divisional hospital.