Tragic Bus Accident on Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway Claims 25 Lives

Update: 2023-07-01 18:30 GMT
The bus caught fire after the accident which led to an explosion in the fuel tank. (Image: DC)

Mumbai: At least 25 people were killed and eight were injured after a private bus met with a horrific accident on the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway in the wee hours on Saturday. As per the initial reports, the bus caught fire after meeting with the accident and all the victims died due to burn injuries.

Officials said that the private luxury bus carrying passengers from Nagpur to Pune had a total of 33 people on board including two drivers and a cleaner. The bus met with the accident at Pimpalkhuta village in Buldhana district at 1.32 am. It overturned after colliding with a pole and subsequently crashed into a bridge.

The bus caught fire after the accident which led to an explosion in the fuel tank. Most of the passengers were asleep when the  accident took place. Those who survived managed to get out in time by breaking the rear window.

Ayush Ghatge, one of the survivors, said it was a miracle that he survived the horrific accident. “I was on the last seat and sleeping when the accident took place. I woke up when a few people fell on me following the accident. I immediately stood up and started looking for a window to come out. I started breaking a window and three of us came out with each other’s help,” he said.

A case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder has been registered against 25-year-old bus driver Danish Shaikh Ismail. According to the police, the driver was trying to mislead the investigators by claiming that the accident took place because of the tyre burst.

Buldhana SP Sunil Kadasne told this newspaper that it appears that the bus dashed the steel pole which was erected on Samruddhi Mahamarg at right hand side (RHS). “After the impact, the driver of the bus lost his control and dashed the bridge resulting in sparks that led to fire.  Prima-facie, it appears that the driver dozed off while driving. Therefore, a case has been registered against him under section 304 of the IPC,” Kadasne said.

He also said that the dead bodies have been charred, therefore, DNA samples of the dead bodies are being collected. “Experts from Akola, Amarvati, Aurangabad and Nagpur are being roped in for the DNA testing. The dead bodies will be handed over to the kith and kin of the deceased once the report of DNA comes,” the police officer said.  

According to the preliminary report of RTO Amravati, the right hand side body of the vehicle dashed to the divider where the diesel tank is located causing it to cut through the body. “After dislocation of the front axle assembly from the chassis of the bus body, the vehicle dashed on cement road, the friction generated heat causing the fire,” an official said.

The RTO report has also ruled out the possibility of tyre burst stating, “tyre burst cannot be the reason for the accident because there is no evidence.”

“The accident on Samruddhi Highway is unfortunate. It happened due to over speeding and the driver’s carelessness,” Shinde said. He also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the deceased.

Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray said the Buldhana accident should open the government's eyes as more than 300 people have lost their lives on the expressway since it was opened last year. The Maharashtra Congress demanded a culpable homicide case against the Shinde government.


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