MADISON, Conn. (WTNH)–The bus accident that closed Interstate-95 for much of Monday, sending at least a dozen people to the hospital happened in Shobhana Ranmal’s backyard. She was getting ready to head out and get the mail, when she heard the massive explosion.
“We were both cleaning and we heard a bang, I said ‘Oh my God,’ it must be a tractor-trailer,” Ranmal said. When the family looked down the embankment, they saw the bus on its side and people scrambling to get out. Their first thought was to try and get over the fence in the backyard to help the people below, but it was too far down, and by then EMS had started to roll in from the Madison ambulance company next door.
Ranmal’s brother called from the highway a few minutes after the crash. He was minutes behind the bus, and the accident.
“Very lucky, thank you, God. It was nerve-racking, my brother was right there when it happened,” she said. “We’ve been thinking about it all day, but thank God nobody was very badly hurt.”
State police are still trying to get a hard number on how many people were on the bus. From the information they can gather from the EMS and troopers on the scene, it was somewhere between 55 and 70 people, many of whom have only minor injuries, but some who are in critical condition.
Madison EMS Director Chris Bernier says that for the amount of people and damage done to the bus, it could have been worse.
“Overall, considering the weather conditions, and the accident itself, we expected to have more significant injuries than we had,” Bernier said. “[The] vast majority walked off the bus, which is a good thing.”
The real heroes on Monday were the men and women of the Madison ambulance company. They were some of the first to arrive on scene and deal with the overwhelming numbers of people trapped on the bus.