At least 18 persons, including seven women and two children, were killed and 15 others injured after a speeding truck veered off the road and crashed near Khambatki tunnel in Satara in western Maharashtra early Tuesday. The truck, carrying construction workers to a project site at Shirwal near Pune, was coming from Bijapur in Karnataka.
The accident took place on the Mumbai-Bengaluru Highway.
Assistant inspector Yuvraj Hande of Pargaon-Khandala police station in Satara said, “We suspect the truck driver to be speeding and having lost control of the vehicle while trying to negotiate the difficult S-shaped turn on the highway. Seventeen persons including children are dead in the accident.” “The stretch has witnessed several accidents, some resulting in the heavy death toll,” Hands added.
The condition of three of the injured labourers was reported to be critical. “They were carrying some sharp and heavy equipment in the truck. When the vehicle overturned, the equipment fell on the labourers. Many of them died due to head injuries caused by the equipment,” the SP said.
Between February and March 2014, as many as 20 persons were killed and 50 injured in two accidents in a span of 10 days on the same highway.
The Satara Police had then registered a case against the officials of the National Highway Authorities of India as well as the firm that had constructed the road on charges of flawed design and construction.