Chennai: NDTV was among the first few television crews to reach the Gemini flyover - the site of the accident, as we jumped out of our cars due to the maze of traffic and sprinted to the spot. My first impression on seeing the tell-tale signs - the Metropolitan Transport Corporation Bus lying on its side, after smashing through the wall of the flyover and hurtling down from a height of about 12 feet - was that this was a tragedy.
If doctors are to be believed, the injuries sustained by the 30 passengers are "simple". Now that is a miraculous escape. Buses have no seat belts. One would have imagined that people would have suffered fractures and God forbid, head injuries too.
Secondly, having occurred not during rush hour but at a lean traffic period, there were no vehicles passing at the spot below where the bus toppled over.
The diesel in the bus was drained out quickly to avert a possible explosion, what with the sea of curious onlookers who had gathered for a dose of disaster tourism.
I witnessed Chennai Police Commissioner JK Tripathy leading from the front and along with his team at the spot as well as Fire and Rescue service officials, taking control of the situation; rushing the injured to hospital and dispersing the crowd. The golden hour in an emergency is crucial. That was not lost. Just one reason why this accident didn't become a tragedy.