NEW DELHI – A bus driver mowed down pedestrians and rammed cars, scooters and food stalls in a rampage through crowded Indian streets Wednesday that killed nine people and injured more than two dozen.
Police chased the bus for an hour through the streets of the central city of Pune, with traffic officers firing on it in an attempt to stop it, before they managed to arrest the 30-year-old driver. He is being held on murder charges.
The licensed bus driver had driven his route as normal Tuesday, but on Wednesday morning jumped into another driver’s bus and took off, police said.
“He just went berserk,” slamming into people, cars, school buses, scooters and vegetable stands, Pune Police Commissioner Meeran Borwankar said.
Pedestrians tried to flee, with some throwing children out of the way of the oncoming bus, she said.
“He went on ramming vehicles, hitting pedestrians. He was in such a dangerous mood,” Borwankar said.
Food stalls were reduced to piles of squashed produce and broken beams, while at least 40 cars were crushed.
The injured were being treated in three hospitals.
Police have ruled out terrorism as a possible motive but were seeking more answers in questioning the driver, Borwankar said.
The mayor of Pune, which is about 125 miles (200 kilometres) southeast of Mumbai, appealed for calm.