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'Bus' attack in Indian city of Pune mows down 9

An ST bus like this one was used in the attack. (FILE)


The Indian city of Pune awoke this morning to news of terror and mayhem – though it was not clear what the motivation behind the incident was, so far.

According to eye witnesses this website spoke to, a single male in a State Transport bus ran amok from 6am in the morning mowing down people on the road.

The police and army had cordoned off the Wanowrie-Camp area, where the bus was said to have knocked down people.

The area is filled with schools and panic gripped the city.

"He just went berserk. He went on ramming whatever vehicles were plying the road," Pune's commissioner of police, Meeran Borwankar, told local television.

"Citizens came forward and literally threw children away from the road. He was in such a dangerous mood. Ultimately he was held (by police) but the damage has been tremendous," she said.

An officer in the local police control room told AFP that nine people had been killed and 27 injured. Some 40 vehicles were left mangled in the destruction, which left autorickshaws overturned and damaged cars.

"He was a nut-case, had completely lost his head. He caused a lot of damage," said the officer, who asked not to be named.

"Most of the damage was to parked taxis, private vehicles, cycles and stalls," he said.

Identified by police as Santosh Mane, the driver was said to be an employee of a local bus operator.

The rampage began as he left the depot, where he reportedly crushed two pedestrians, and came to halt only when members of the public wrestled him from the controls half an hour later when he had rammed into another bus, the officer and reports said.

"Whoever came in his way, he just rammed into them," one witness told NDTV television.

Another said: "I was out jogging, there was a noise, I jumped immediately that is why I was saved. This is my second life, I would have been dead.

"The driver of the vehicle has been arrested from Nilayam Talkies area," a Pune police control official was quoted as saying.

The incident happened am when the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) driver Santosh Mane suddenly climbed into a Pune-Satara-Pune bus and zoomed off onto the road outside the Swargate ST Depot, driving at a high speed on the wrong side of the road, taking the oncoming vehicles and people unawares.

Fire brigade and local residents helped police to bring the vehicle under control and rush the victims to nearby hospitals.

Stranger on road saves mother, two kids from death

AM, a mother of three, was out early as one of her children had to attend her school sports day.

Like many Pune mothers on the early morning school run, she was on her two-wheeler with two of her kids headed to the school.

Except that unknown to her the killer bus was headed in her direction.

“I take the Napier Road which is quiet. Suddenly a man came running down the road and told me to turn away and take another road. He was hysterical and begged me to turn. I turned away immediately,” she told this website.

It saved her life as the bus and driver came down the same route, mowing down a car that was in the way.

“I don’t know who that man was, but he saved us for sure,” AM said.