Student death toll in a bus crash on Baku-Sumqayit highway reaches 6
Lala Nasirzade, 17, a student, died after spending 2 days in coma, in the hospital’s intensive care unit, on March 11. She has become already the 6th victim of the accident on Baku-Sumqayit highway.
A bus transporting Sumqayit University students, crashed on March 9. 2 persons died immediately on the accident scene, 3 more people died later in hospital.
18 more people suffered injuries of varying degree of severity – Azerbaijani Interior Ministry’s press release reads.
According to the eyewitnesses, the passenger mini-bus crashed into the pickup truck transporting bricks, after attempting to make an illegal maneuver- off-side overtaking. The bus driver was arrested as a suspect. He is facing charges for violation of traffic regulations and vehicle operation safety rules that entailed the death of 2 or more people through negligence.
The students, who were on the bus, reported that the arrested driver had previously violated safety rules and created emergency situations on the road on the number of occasions. “He had a road accident a year ago.He was repeatedly issued fines and warnings. A mini-bus, designed for 17 passengers, was sometimes packed with 35 people, who stood or sat on the friend’s lap,” BBC Azerbaijan quoted one of the students as saying.
Khadija Ismayil, an investigative journalist, put forward on her FB page a possible solution to the aforesaid problem. Namely, she proposed to make it incumbent upon the universities to purchase the student buses. She also suggested building low-cost campuses for non-resident students, introducing concessional travel tickets for students using intercity trains, as well as tailoring the Baku-Sumqayit train schedule to the students’ lecture timetable.