Traffic on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway went out of gear for nearly two hours owing to mishap that took the lives of five residents of Virar. Furthermore, five others were also injured in the accident.
According to The Times of India, the mishap occurred after car the deceased were riding skidded on diesel spilt by a luxury bus. The vehicle then rammed into a stationary bus in the Kamshet tunnel on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway on Sunday afternoon.
Police say the deceased were returning to Virar from the Jejuri Temple near Pune. Kamshet police said out of the five, two died on the spot, two others died during treatment at a private hospital in Nigdi and the driver passed away at another hospital in Somatane Phata.
Dattatraya Deshmukh (63), his wife Bhamini (60), Rakhi Patil (40), her sister Shraddha (19) and the driver Deepak Wagasiya were the occupants of the car, who died, while Sanjay Patil (15), Rupesh Deshmukh (34), Om Deshmukh (2), Rupali Deshmukh (28) and Rahul Deshmukh (34) were the injured. Cops say two of the injured are critical.
Both the car and luxury bus were heading towards Mumbai when the bus’ driver noticed some issue with the vehicle. Upon checking after parking it in the Kamshet tunnel, he discovered the fuel pipe had sprung a leak. The speeding car driver applied the brakes but was unsuccessful in avoiding the fuel spillage and crashed into the bus. The injured occupants of both vehicles were hospitalised by Highway Safety Patrol (HSP) teams and Expressway authorities, who covered the spilt fuel with sand.
The Pune-Mumbai Expressway has witnessed 1,758 accidents with more than 400 fatalities in the first 10 years since its opening.