Four out of seven students in a previous-generation Honda City died when the speeding car fell off the flyover at West Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh. All seven students were headed to a college exam at Narela when tragedy struck. While two died at the spot, two others succumbed to grievous injuries at the hospital where they were being treated. Two others remain critical while one student is said to be out of danger, but under observation.
How did it happen?
All seven students met at a house in east Punjabi Bagh at about 8 AM yesterday. All of them got into the Honda City, and at about 830 AM, they headed to college – Delhi Institute of Professional studies – at Narela. The car, according to the police, was being driven at a high speed. The students were on their way to write an exam.
When the overloaded car was on the Punjabi Bagh flyover, it went out of control apparently due to a tyre burst. The car skidded across the flyover, crashed through the retaining wall and fell off the flyover, upside down. Slum dwellers under the flyover sprung into action and managed to turn the car around, and pulled the unconscious students out of the car.
While it took about 15 minutes for the students to be extricated from the car, two of them – Sanchit (18) and Ritu (18) were declared brought dead. Rajat (22), the driver of the car, succumbed to his injuries at hospital while Garima (20) died at the hospital earlier today. Two others, Rishabh and Raja, continue to be critical while Pranav is said to be out of danger.
A Delhi police official stated that the car could be doing at least 100 Kph based on the CCTV footage of the incident. Also, the car was overloaded, with 3 students at the front and 4 at the back. It’s likely that at least two students weren’t wearing seat belts as the Honda City sedan seats only 5 and has 5 seat belts.
Overloading, a prime cause of tyre bursts
Overloading is a prime cause of tyre bursts. Loading a car to beyond its carrying capacity puts additional load on the tyres, sometimes causing it to burst. Also, overloading stresses other critical components of the car such as brakes and suspension. When overloaded, components are likely to work at less than optimum levels, causing the car to easily go out of control, especially at high-speed. Not wearing seat belts can cause occupants of a car to be tossed around in an accident, and this can cause fatal injuries. In the flyover crash at Delhi, all these factors – speed, tyre burst, no-seatbelts and overloading – seem to have come together, causing a tragedy.