Seven people died and three more were critically injured in an accident on the Old Pune-Mumbai Highway near Lonavala on Sunday afternoon.
Police said the deceased comprised four members of a family from BT Kawade Road in Mundhwa, Pune, and another group of three friends from Rahatani in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
According to Lonavala Rural Police, the mishap took place at Karla Phata near Lonavala about 3 pm. The accident led to major traffic jams on both the corridors of the highway for over two hours. The youths from Rahatani were travelling towards Lonavala from Pune in a Swift car, while the family was travelling in their Santro car to Pune from Lonavala.
Inspector Ramdas Ingawale of Lonavala Rural police station said, “According to the primary investigation, the driver of the Swift car lost control over the vehicle and rammed into the road divider. It then turned on its side and crossed over to the other side of the road and rammed into the family’s car, which was on its way to Pune from Lonavala. Both the cars were mangled due to the impact. All four from the family and the three friends were killed in the accident.”
The four deceased from the family have been identified as Rajiv Jagannath Bahirat (52), his wife Sonali (46), daughter Janhvi (20) and Rajiv’s father Jagannath Bahirat (83). The other three deceased were Sanjiv Mohan Kushwah (17), Krishna Ramesh Shirkat (22) and Nikhil Balaji Sarode (20).
The three people who had been injured were part of the family’s car and have been identified as Nikhil’s brother Pratik Sarode (18), Akash Madne (17), Rohit Kad (16).
Inspector Ingawale added, “Some of the injured were rushed to the hospital in an ambulance by the emergency response team along with a police team. Some bodies had to gas cutter had to be used.”
The three injured persons are serious and are being treated for multiple injuries, police said.
A highway police officer said the accident led to traffic jams because of which queues of vehicles as long as three kilometers were seen on both corridors for over two hours. Staff from local police station and highway patrol was deployed to manage the traffic situation.