Pune: In a tragic accident, nine persons, including seven passengers of a State Transport (ST) bus, were killed and 17 people were injured after the bus collided with a parked tempo in Narayangaon, about 75 km from Pune on the Pune-Nashik Highway on Monday.
According to the Assistant Police Inspector Ajay Garud of Narayangaon police station, the bus was heading to Pune and was coming from Trimbakeshwar in Nashik. A tempo driver had parked his vehicle near the median of the road near Muktabai Dhaba. The front right side tyre of the tempo was flat and the driver and owner of the tempo were busy in repairing the flat tyre. At around 1.30 am, the ST bus, carrying 26 people, collided with the parked tempo.
“Seven passengers of the bus, along with the driver and owner of the tempo killed in the mishap. As it was raining, the bus driver could not see the parked tempo and applied urgent brakes, after which the centre part of the bus hit the tempo, leading to the death of the passengers. The impact of the collision was such, that the driver and owner of the tempo were hit by it, leading to their death,” added Garud.
The deceased have been identified as Kishore Jondhale (40), the owner of the tempo, Rashid Pathan (30), who was driving the tempo, and bus passengers included Shobha Pagar (45), Yamuna Pagar (55), Vikas Gujrati (50), Sanjeevni Ghadge (45), Vinay Khairnar (30), Aniket Joshi (24), all from Nashik and Saurabh Chaudhari (27) from Jalgaon.
Bus driver Santosh Guladkad (33) and 16 other passengers were injured in the accident, of which two are critical, the Narayangaon police said.
Following the accident locals, police officials, ambulance services, officials from State Transport rushed to the spot. The injured were rushed to hospitals in Narayangaon and Alephata. The police used cranes to take the damaged vehicles off the road. “A case is yet to be lodged, as we are in the process of investigation,” added Garud.
An official from Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), Pune division, said that they are investigating whether the bus driver was at fault. “Our initial inspections show that the reflectors of the tempo were not on. It was also raining heavily, which added to the problem. As per our rule, Rs 10 lakh compensation will be granted to the family of passengers who died in the accident,” the official said.
Another ST bus accident
In another accident, six persons, including the driver and conductor, of Junnar-Rajur State Transport bus were injured after the bus veered off the road while saving a two-wheeler rider in Hadsar area of Junnar taluka on Monday morning. Police Inspector Kailash Ghodke of Junnar police station said that the accident occurred at 10.30 am and the injured were rushed to the government hospital in Junnar.