17 people died and 43 sustained injuries when a luxury bus rammed into two vehicles and rolled down 20 feet off the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on Sunday. The incident occurred near Shivkar village, around 11 km from Panvel, at 4.30 am when Nikhil Travels bus hit an Innova and a Swift car. The 17 dead include three children, the youngest aged around two.
According to police sources, the accident could have been averted if the driver of the Swift car had switched on the parking lights while fixing the flat tyre.
DCP (Zone-2), Panvel division, Vishwas Pandhare said, “The bus coming from the direction of Satara failed to spot the cars. He lost control of the vehicle when he tried to swerve onto the second lane on spotting the car. It was cloudy this morning which further aggravated the situation for the bus driver.”
All the three vehicles were coming from Pune. Incidentally, this is not the first time the killer road has claimed lives. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway is clearly an unsafe road, with various cases of accidents, mishaps and crashes over the past few years. In May alone, the road witnessed at least five accidents and 10 deaths.
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According to the state Highway police, the accident took place around 4:30 a.m., some 20 km away from Navi Mumbai, the satellite township adjoining Mumbai. Preliminary investigations, spot assessment and eyewitness statements said that a Maruti Swift DZire with a flat tyre was stuck on the right side of the Pune-Mumbai arm of the expressway, while people were repairing the puncture.
Meanwhile, some people from a passing Toyota Innova stopped behind it for help, Just then a speeding luxury bus of Nikhil Travels, coming from Satara, apparently failed to notice the two vehicles in the darkness and rammed the two cars before veering off the road and tumbling into a 40-feet ditch. The injured were shifted to MGM and Ashtavinayak hospitals in Navi Mumbai. Of the 50 injured, 29 travellers are from Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai.
17 people were killed and around 43 others were injured near Panvel on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway.
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