Updated: February 23, 2021 5:07:32 am
A 25-YEAR-OLD man, riding a two-wheeler, sustained injuries and later died in hospital after ramming into a PMPML bus heading towards Wagholi on the BRTS lane near Kharadi Bypass Chowk, on Monday. The bus caught fire in the accident, but all passengers and staff were able to exit on time before the vehicle was engulfed in flames along with the two-wheeler, police said.
According to a statement issued by PMPML, the two-wheeler rider illegally entered the BRTS lane and was coming towards the bus from the opposite direction. “The two-wheeler rider illegally entered the Nagar Road BRTS corridor and was in high speed. His vehicle skidded and went under the bus. He was thrown away from the spot. The two-wheeler’s petrol tank burst and caught fire. The rider, who was identified as Ajinkya Wavle (25) died in hospital,” a PMPML spokesperson said.
According to Sanjay Kusalkar, in-charge of the accident department at Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML), the two-wheeler rider illegally entered the “bus only” lane. “After the accident, the bus and two-wheeler caught fire. The passengers were able to make an exit quickly,” he said, adding that the two-wheeler rider was rushed to hospital.
Kusalkar said the reason behind the fire was not known yet. “It could be that the two-wheeler hit the bus with a great impact, damaging vital parts that caused the accident. As of now, we cannot say what exactly caused the fire. We will investigate the matter,” he said.
Bus driver Santosh Mazire told PMPML officials that when he saw the two-wheeler rider coming from the opposite side on the BRTS lane, he slowed down and veered the bus away onto the left. “His vehicle straightaway went under the bus, and then the bus caught fire. I pressed the door open and the passengers made an exit. There was a lot of noise, but no one was injured. Some passengers left their bags behind,” the driver told PMPML officials.
The fire brigade and airport police rushed to the spot, and brought the blaze under control.
Shabnam Asthana, a local resident who was crossing the area in a car, said, “I saw massive flames… passengers had apparently made an exit. The fire brigade arrived after 10 minutes. The bus was charred beyond recognition.”
Kusalkar said after the accident, the driver opened the doors so that the passengers could quickly exit. A local resident said he saw passengers running all over the place in panic as flames leapt towards the sky and thick smoke billowed from the spot.
Activist Qaneez Sukhrani said on Friday too an autorickshaw illegally entered a BRTS route in Katraj. “Four persons were injured in the accident. The accident occured on Katraj-Swargate BRTS corridor,” she said.
Sukhrani said, “Both are incidents of vehicles other than PMPML buses straying into the corridors and having head-on collisions. The bottom line is that BRTS, with mounting non-compliances by the PMC, is not made for Pune residents. We have repeatedly brought this issue directly to the state government’s notice, asking for a probe into the execution and implementation.”
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