Nine warkaris,seven of them women,died after the truck in which they were travelling towards Pandharpur fell into Nira riverbed near Lonand on the Pune-Satara border early on Tuesday morning. Police said all the victims were from Kambaleshwar village in Baramati.
Six other warkaris and the truck driver were injured in the accident.
The deceased have been identified as Muktabai Ramchandra Kumbhar (60),Saraswati Govind Gawade (55),Godabai Bharat Gawde (52),Kunda Haribhau Jagtap (54),Radhabai Kisan Girigosavi (55),Sulochana Jagtap (65),Ganpat Bagbanu Gosavi (60),Shahji Ganpat Shinde (65) and Ganpat Gosavi.
Police said the warkaris were part of the dindi led by Gosavi and had halted at Walhe on Monday. In the wee hours of Tuesday,about 15 warkaris in the dindi left for Pandharpur in the truck via Lonand.
Around 3.30 am,the driver lost control over the vehicle,which hit and smashed through the railings of the new bridge near Lonand on the Pune-Satara road and fell about 50 feet below. An offence of negligent driving was registered against truck driver Sanjay Anpat at Jejuri police station under the jurisdiction of Pune rural police.
Seven warkaris died on the spot,while Gosavi and Shinde died during treatment. Teams of Lonand police,Jejuri police and the district administration rushed to the spot. The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals with the help of local residents.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar,Satara district collector N Ramaswamy,Pune district collector Vikas Deshmukh,senior police officers from both Satara and Pune rural police visited the spot and the hospitals where the injured were admitted.
Meanwhile,local residents and warkaris have called for an agitation on Wednesday demanding the widening of the Pune-Satara highway in Lonand. Ten warkaris including seven women were killed in two separate road mishaps on Sunday. A speeding container knocked down three warkaris,two of whom died on the spot at Javjibuvachi Wadi near Yevat in Pune district in the early hours of Sunday.
In the other incident,eight warkaris,including six women,were killed when a Karnataka state transport bus veered out of control and ran over them on the Bangalore-Pune Highway at Satkatti near Belgaum on Sunday afternoon.