Ten people died and at least 12 were injured in an accident on the Mumbai-Agra highway on Thursday morning, Nashik rural police said. The accident occurred after the minibus they were travelling in rammed into a stationary truck near Chandwad. According to police, the incident occurred around 5.50 am. “The minibus was coming from Ujjain and there were around 22 people in it. Near Chandwad, the front tyre of the minibus burst and the driver lost control,” said a police officer.
The minibus then rammed into a truck standing along the side of the road. “We have lodged an FIR for negligence against the driver of the bus. However, we are investigating further,” said a senior police officer. Among the deceased, six are women, three men and a child, sources said. “The injured have been admitted to Civil Hospital in Chandwad and five of them are critical,” the officer added.
The victims were mostly pilgrims, residents of Kalyan and Ulhasnagar. “A group of cleaning employees of the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation along with their families and neighbours had planned a trip to Ujjain and Nashik temples. They were on their way back when the incident occurred. We are still getting details. A lot of our friends and colleagues have already left for Nashik,” said a KDMC employee.
According to Parth Parmar, a neighbour and colleague of some of the deceased, “this was a much sought after vacation for them. They had gone on a pilgrimage.” Dina Ghawari, mother of Prakash Ghawari who died in the accident, is in shock. “She lost her son, daughter-in-law and their two children. We don’t know about the third child yet,” said Parmar. “If the driver was at fault, he should be punished. The accident was severe, so many people lost so much,” said Sanna Ghawari, father of Prakash Ghawari.
The victims were residents of a colony near Subhash Maidan water tank in Kalyan, sources said. “They had booked the bus from Ulhasnagar and had taken it all the way to Ujjain,” Sagar Shirsat, another colleague, said.