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Wardha accident: BJP MLA’s son among seven killed as vehicle falls off bridge

Wardha accident: The incident took place near Selsura between 11 pm and 12 am on a bridge above the Bhadadi river on the Nagpur-Yavatmal highway on the stretch between Devli village and Wardha city.

Written by Jayprakash S Naidu | Mumbai |
Updated: January 26, 2022 1:08:41 pm
Crash site near Selsura on a bridge above Bhadadi river on Nagpur-Yavatmal highway. (Express Photo)

Seven MBBS students from Jawaharlal Medical college in Sawangi, Wardha, including BJP Tirora MLA Vijay Rahangdale’s son Avishkar Rahangdale, died in a car crash after their vehicle fell 40 feet down from a bridge late on Monday night. No other vehicle is involved in the accident, the local police said. The police will register a FIR against one of the deceased, who was driving, for causing death due to negligence.

The incident took place near Selsura between 11 pm and 12 am on a bridge above the Bhadadi river on the Nagpur-Yavatmal highway on the stretch between Devli village and Wardha city. “We received the information from the control room around 12.30am… The Mahindra XUV car was moving from Devli to Wardha and was on an overbridge when the driver lost control over the wheel, the car hit the boundary wall and fell over the bridge. All seven occupants of the car died. No other vehicle is involved in the accident,” said Babasaheb Thorat, assistant inspector of Sawangi police station.

The police presently are conducting a panchnama.

“The driver may have lost control over the wheel as there is a slight curve in the road where the accident occurred. Looking at the car wreck, it seems they were speeding. But it’s not an accident spot. This is the first time such a big accident has taken place there. We have handed over the bodies of four students, including Avishkarm, to their relatives while the other bodies are kept at a mortuary and will be handed over to their relatives when they come here,” said Thorat.

It is not clear who was driving the vehicle as most of the occupants were thrown out due to the impact. With the help of villagers, a JCB machine was used to remove the car wreck from the river bed. The police said the car landed on the river bed filled with stones. A police official said six men were thrown out of the car but one was trapped inside the wreck. They were taken to government hospital in Wardha where they were declared dead. A post mortem will be done and blood samples collected to find out if the victims were intoxicated.

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The deceased have been identified as Niraj Chauhan, 22, a resident of Gorakhpur, UP, Avishkar Rahangdale, 21, from Gondia, Nitesh Singh, 25, from Odisha, Vivek Nandan, 23, from Gaya in Bihar, Pratyushsingh Harendrasingh, 23, from Gorakhpur in UP, Subham Jaiswal, 23, from Dindayal Upadhyay Nagar in UP and Pawan Shakti, 19 from Gaya in Bihar. Except for Nandan, all stayed in the hostel. “Their exams, which were pending due to Covid, had finished in the afternoon. They informed the hostel authorities that they will be going towards Yavatmal to celebrate the birthday of one of the group members and said they will return soon,” said Dr. Abhyudaya Meghe, Officer on Special Duty (OSD), AVBR Hospital, Wardha.

The men had gone out to celebrate the birthday of Shakti who was Rahangdale’s roommate; both were first year students. Chauhan and Nandan were third year students and Harendrasingh and Jaiswal were in their fourth year of MBBS. Singh was an intern at the college. The hostel warden checked the attendance register at 10pm and found out that the men had not returned after which their parents were informed. “Some of the parents said they knew their wards had left the hostel and they had allowed it,” said Meghe. The hostel authorities were informed about the accident by the police around 2.30am

Expressing pain over the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Tuesday morning, “Pained by the loss of lives due to an accident near Selsura in Maharashtra. In this hour of sadness, my thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones. I pray that those injured are able to recover soon.”  The PM announced that Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives in the accident near Selsura. Those who are injured would be given Rs. 50,000. Devendra Fadnavis, BJP leader former chief minister of Maharashtra who knew Avishkar tweeted in Marathi, “I share the grief of all these families. MLA Vijay Rahangdale’s son Avishkar was also among them. May God give strength to all the family members to bear this grief. Om Shanti.”

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