Chennai: In a shocking incident, Chennai’s arterial Anna Salai caved in near Thousand Lights bus stop on Sunday afternoon, trapping a Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus and a car.
Luckily none of the thirty-five passengers were injured. the bus driver and conductor and also car driver escaped without any injuries.
The cave in took place in front of the Church Park School in one of the busiest stretch of the arterial road. Being a Sunday, the traffic was very less on the road thereby preventing a major accident. According to the bus driver, he had stopped the bus at a stopping when it started to sink as if the tyre burst suddenly. As the bus started sinking slowly, the alert driver and conductor asked the passengers to get down immediately.
The cave in happened because of the ongoing tunnel boring work for Chennai Metro Rail that is being carried out between Thousand Lights and Directorate of Medical Services (DMS) along the Anna Salai. The incident site is very close to the place where the tunnelling works caused a foam leakage a few weeks ago. A CMR official said that the road caved in when they were carrying out tunnelling work. All the tunnelling works have been stopped following the incident as a precautionary measure, the official said. He added that the work would commence only after a detailed survey and inspected was done by their team.
Tamil Nadu finance minister D Jayakumar, who visited the spot, attributed the road cave in to the loose soil. “This is the first time such an accident has happened during the metro rail work since 2009 when the work started. We will use this as a learning experience and all precautions will be taken to prevent such incidents,” he told reporters.
The minister said work was progressing on a war footing to remove the trapped vehicles and repair the road so that traffic could be restored by Monday evening.
Chennai police have cordoned off one side of the Anna Salai connecting Thousand Lights with DMS and traffic has been diverted. Both the bus and the car has been removed with the help of a crane by 4 pm.
This is the second such incident of a vehicle getting trapped in a road cave-in caused by the metro rail tunnelling work. The first such incident took place in June 2015 on EVR Periyar Salai opposite Madras Medical College, when a car got trapped in it.