Bus kills techie on Bypass

A young Cognizant employee lay bleeding on a service road along the Bypass for nearly 20 minutes after being hit by a speeding bus on Friday morning and died before she could be wheeled into trauma care.

Sayantani Nanda, a 23-year-old trainee program analyst, had got off a taxi and was crossing the service lane in front of PC Chandra Gardens to board her chartered office bus when the killer vehicle struck her. "She was flung at least 10 feet away on impact. There is little chance she would have survived but the ambulance did take a long time to arrive," witness Sheikh Rafiq said.

Many others who saw the accident said the Barrackpore-Ghatakpukur bus had cut in sharply from the Bypass to enter the service road through the unmanned intersection. The service road leads to the busy Basanti highway that would have taken Sayantani to Cognizant's Bantala campus, about 7km away.

"She was a lovely girl, very friendly. She would have lived had a cop been posted at the intersection to regulate traffic," a colleague said.

Sayantani, a 2011 graduate from Birbhum Institute of Engineering and Technology in Suri, had joined Cognizant Technology Solutions five months ago. Her parents are based at Contai in East Midnapore and she used to stay as a paying guest near Chingrihata, on the Bypass.

The police claimed Sayantani had an ear to her phone while crossing the service road and possibly didn't notice the bus. "But we have seized the bus and started a case against the driver, who fled after the accident," said an officer at Pragati Maidan police station.

None of the witnesses Metro spoke to recalled seeing Sayantani talking over her mobile phone.

The police said the ambulance that took the victim to Fortis Hospital, 1.5km from the site, was caught in heavy rush-hour traffic. "The trauma-care ambulance ran into five traffic signals over 3.5km," the police said.

Sayantani was declared dead on arrival at Fortis.

Four persons have died and at least 25 injured in accidents near the crossing in the past 11 months. But the police have done little to make this stretch safer other than putting up road signs saying "drive slow" and "accident-prone zone".

Over 10,000 vehicles use the service road where Sayantani was fatally injured every day.

When Metro visited the site hours after the accident on Friday afternoon, not even a police volunteer was around.