The death of driver VD Girish and conductor VR Baiju in the accident involving the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus in Tamil Nadu killing at least 20 people has come as a shock to many who knew them.
The news about the tragedy and death of their colleagues filtered in as the KSRTC management and employees were all set to celebrate the 82nd birthday of the motor service on Thursday.
The State Motor Service was inaugurated by the Maharaja of erstwhile Travancore kingdom, Sree Chithirathirunal Balarama Varma, on February 20, 1938. Their colleagues recalled that Girish and Baiju were honoured by the KSRTC management for assisting a woman passenger who took ill during a trip to Bengaluru from Ernakulam in June 2018.
Then KSRTC Managing Director Tomin J Thachankary had issued a letter to both lauding them for taking care of the ailing woman passenger, they said. They not only drove back some distance to take her to a private hospital but one of them also stayed back after hospital authorities insisted that someone should be there till her relatives arrived, their colleagues said.
They had also paid the initial admission deposit when the hospital authorities asked for it. While Baiju stayed back after taking permission from senior officials in Kerala, Girish drove the bus with the remaining passengers to Bengaluru, they said.
Condoling the deaths, Thachankary, who is now heading the Crime Branch wing of the Kerala Police, told a TV channel that it was a great loss for the KSRTC. “We lost two great souls. Heartfelt condolences,” a man wrote on Facebook page “I Love My KSRTC.”
Tragedy struck 48 passengers of the KSRTC bus at Tirupur on Thursday when the vehicle collided with a lorry, leaving at least 20 dead.