11 from city die in accident on Pune-Solapur highway

Photos: Rons Bantwal
Report : thehindu.com
Kemmannu News network, 12-03-2017 08:56:44

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Mumbai: Akkalkot-bound minibus, carrying pilgrims, collides with cement-laden truck .What was to be a pilgrimage turned out to be a tragedy for 11 Mumbai residents after the minibus they were travelling in collided with a truck on the Pune-Solapur highway in the early hours of Saturday.

According to the police, the accident, which occurred in the Uruli-Kanchan village in Pune, was reported to the police control room at around 4:30 a.m. Residents of the area informed the police about the minibus, which was travelling towards Akkalkot in Solapur, having crashed into a truck transporting cement to Pune. The police rushed several ambulances and teams from the Loni-Kalbhor police station, in whose jurisdiction the accident occurred, to the spot. Extra personnel were deployed to help manage the crowd and traffic.

All the 11 occupants of the Tempo Traveller, which was badly mangled in the collision, were rushed to a government hospital in Pune, where they were declared dead before admission. The deceased have been identified as Vijay Kale, Jyoti Kale, Yogesh Lokhande, Jaywant Chavan, Yogita Chavan, Revati Chavan, Jagdish Pandit, Shailaja Pandit, Pradeep Avchat, Sulabha Avchat and Ketan Pawar, who was driving the vehicle.

“According to our investigations so far, the driver of the minibus swerved suddenly when a wild boar came into the vehicle’s path. He still ended up hitting the animal, and the collision sent the minibus veering into the opposite lane, where it rammed into an oncoming truck,” said Superintendent of Police Suvez Haque of the Pune Rural Police.  

Using the information in documents found in the minibus, as well as its license plate number, the police contacted the travel agency which had supplied the vehicle and driver. Inquiries with the agency established that eight of the 10 passengers were from Mulund, while two were from Chembur, and all 10 were related to each other. The minibus had left from Mulund late on Friday and was headed to Akkalkot, a popular pilgrimage destination in Solapur, the police said.

The police, based on prima facie investigations, will register a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against Pawar under the Indian Penal Code and the Motor Vehicles Act. His blood samples have also been sent for chemical analysis to check whether he was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

“We will seek the opinion of a team of experts from the Regional Transport Office, which will examine the vehicle as well as skid marks on the road to gauge the speed at which the minibus was travelling and whether the driver hit the brakes at the right time. Further course of action will be decided based on the report submitted by the experts, coupled with our own investigations,” said Mr. Haque.

The Loni Kalbhor police have so far recorded statements from the driver and cleaner of the truck with which the minibus collided. The duo have also sustained injuries and are being treated. The wild boar hit by the minibus died on the spot, said officials.

Comments on this Article
Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai Sun, March-12-2017, 9:00
RIP ...
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