Hyderabad: A medico-legal case has been registered against Orange Tours & Travels for not providing emergency medical help to an injured passenger when one of their inter-state buses met with an accident. A police case has also been booked against the driver and management in Maharashtra.
“They left me bleeding and denied medical help,” said the passenger Arpit Sharma, a BITS Pilani alumnus from Madhya Pradesh.
The accident occurred on July 1. Mr Sharma was travelling in an Orange AC sleeper bus (52569) from Raipur to Hyderabad. The bus hit a divider at Patan Bori on the Adilabad-Maharashtra border, leaving some passengers and the conductor injured.
The police investigation established that the accident was caused by the driver’s negligence.
Mr Sharma told Deccan Chronicle that he was woken by a woman passenger screaming at 2 am. He saw passengers rushing out, and the AC had stopped working. When he opened the passenger cabin door he saw the driver’s cabin was shattered.
“I tripped and fell on glass pieces and sustained injuries to my face. Other passengers had to pull me out of the bus. The right side of my face was bleeding profusely. The bus had hit a divider. The staff was saying a trolley hit the bus and then they hit the divider. A few said the driver had dozed off.”
Mr Sharma said the passengers insisted that the driver and Orange Travels’ customer care call the police and ambulance as many passengers were injured. “They (customer care) kept telling me that an ambulance was coming in 15 minutes but nothing happened for two hours,” Mr Sharma said.
It was raining and a passenger took Mr Sharma to a dhaba next to the accident spot and applied turmeric on his face to stop the bleeding. The Orange customer care personnel allegedly said it was not their responsibility to get him medical help.
Mr Sharma then took a lift from a local driver who was heading to Adilabad, 15-20 km from the accident spot. From there, an autorickshaw took him to RIMS Adilabad. He underwent a CT scan as he was still bleeding from his nose and ear.
On the way to Adilabad, he had posted his travails on a Facebook group for BITS Pilani alumni. Adilabad collector Divya Devarajan, a former student of the college, saw it and directed her staff to take special care of Mr Sharma. Mr Sharma says he received a text on Whatsapp from Ms Devarajan saying she was in Hyderabad and had directed her staff to treat this case as an emergency. The CT scan showed no internal injuries.
Following this, Mr Sharma filed a medico-legal case against Orange Tours. Ironically, while he was undergoing treatment, an Orange customer care representative called him to seek feedback on his travel experience! After he had narrated his experience, the representative reportedly stated that it was not their responsibility and they can’t help.
He said the conductor was injured and admitted in a hospital in Adilabad. The Orange management allegedly did not respond to him as well.
Asked about the case, Inspector Venkanna Babu of the Adilabad Special Branch said that a police case has been registered against the company at Patan Bori. “A few passengers travelled ahead by themselves. The local police arranged transport for the others. A criminal negligence case has been registered against Orange Travels,” the Inspector said.
When this newspaper contacted Praveen Kumar of Orange Travels, he said he did not know of the incident. When the documents were emailed to him, he said, “The driver informed that no passenger had sustained injuries. We don’t deny what happened to Arpit and the rest. An internal enquiry has been ordered and action will be taken accordingly.”
This newspaper tried to get the statements of two other passengers but they refused to speak....