The driver of a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) super deluxe bus was instantly killed and 30-odd passengers were injured, two of them seriously, when the bus rammed a tree on the median near Chakkaraparambu along the Palarivattom bypass around 4.15 a.m. on Monday.
The deceased was identified as Arun Sukumar, 45, of Pazhayakada, Thiruvananthapuram. The seriously injured were bus conductor Suresh Raj, 50, of Kanjiramkulam, and Rajitha U.K., 35, of Thiruvananthapuram.
While Suresh Raj has a fracture at the back of his head, Rajitha, who also suffered head injury, has been diagnosed with internal bleeding. Both are in intensive care unit, according to sources at a private hospital near Palarivattom. Out of the 26 passengers rushed to the hospital, three remain admitted.
The Palarivattom police suspect that the driver had dozed off leading to the accident. The bus belonging to the Thiruvananthapuram depot had left for Kozhikode at 11.45 p.m. on Sunday.
The tree was uprooted and the front portion of the bus was reduced to rubble in the impact of the collision. Retrieving the driver from the bus proved to be a tough task. Though he was rushed to a hospital at Vyttila, he was declared brought dead.