Pune: At least nine people were killed and more than two dozen vehicles damaged when a mentally-disturbed staffer of the government bus service hijacked a state transport (ST) bus and went on a rampage through the streets of Pune on Wednesday, police said.

'So far, we have got reports of six pedestrians being killed in the incident and another 17 being injured, while two dozen vehicles have been damaged. The driver of the vehicle has been arrested from Nilayam Talkies area,' a Pune police control official told.

The incident happened shortly before 8 a.m. when the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) driver Santosh Mane suddenly climbed into a Pune-Satara-Pune bus and zoomed off onto the road outside the Swargate ST Depot, driving at a high speed on the wrong side of the road, taking the oncoming vehicles and people unawares.

From there, he sped off for nearly 25 km, ramming stationary or moving vehicles on the route and crushing or knocking off pedestrians before he was nabbed by a police party at Dandekar Flyover, the official said.

Fire brigade and local residents helped police to bring the vehicle under control and rush the victims to nearby hospitals.

(Agencies)