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10 Killed As Shirdi-Bound Bus Collides With Truck In Nashik

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Ten persons were killed and at least 22 others injured – most of them workers of a packaging firm and their families – after a private tourist bus on way to the temple town of Shirdi collided with a truck in Maharashtra’s Nashik district on Friday morning, police officials said.

The impact of the crash was so powerful that both the vehicles were completely wrecked. While the front cabin of the truck was a mangled heap, the bus was virtually cut open along one side and reduced to a shell.

Many of the passengers of the private tourist bus were workers of a company located in Ambernath in Thane district and heading for the temple town of Shirdi in western Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district with their families, the officials said.

The dead included a couple, a mother-daughter duo and a teen aged girl.

At least six of those dead were from Morivali village in Ambernath tehsil, said a local official.

The accident took place around 6 am on Nashik-Ahmednagar road near Pathare Shivar village in north Maharashtra’s Nashik district’s Sinnar tehsil, around 180km from Mumbai, the officials said.

As per state highway control room officials, one side of the two-lane Sinnar-Shirdi stretch of the road had been closed for some work near the accident spot.

Sajid Khan, a survivor, said the bus was over-speeding and the driver fled the spot after the accident.

More than 50 passengers, including workers of the private company and their family members, were travelling in the bus, said Khan, who was sitting in the last row.

“The bus driver was driving at a very high speed and lost control over the wheels, leading to the collision with the truck,” he said.

After the crash, the bus toppled and kept sliding for a few metres before coming to a halt, Khan said.

The bus started journey from Ambernath and the driver was driving decently till Ulhasnagar, located on Mumbai’s outskirts, he said.

“All was going well till 5 am, but then the bus collided with the truck shortly after 6 am,” said the survivor.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the crash and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from the PM National Relief Fund to the next-of-kin of each deceased. The injured would be given Rs 50,000 each, the PMO tweeted.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, in a tweet, expressed grief over the incident and separately announced financial help of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased, while ordering an inquiry into the cause of the accident.

A list published by the district administration said all the deceased were from Ambernath in Thane district.

The administration gave the names of the deceased as Naresh Manohar Ubale, 38, Vaishali Naresh Ubale, 32 (couple), Shravani Suhas Baraskar, 30, Shraddha Suhas Baraskar, 4 (mother-daughter duo), Pramila Prakash Gondhali, 45, Balaji Krishna Mohati, 25, Diksha Santosh Gondhali, 18, Ayushaman alias Sai Prashant Mohati, 5 and Roshni Rajesh Wadekar, 30. A 15-year-old girl is yet to be identified.

The injured were taken to the Government Rural Hospital and Yashwant Hospital in Sinnar.

Chief Minister Shinde said the state government will bear expenses of the treatment of the injured persons, a statement from his office said.

Shinde spoke to the Nashik divisional commissioner and asked him to shift the injured immediately to Nashik and Shirdi for treatment and also conduct an inquiry into the causes of the accident, it added.

Nashik guardian minister Dada Bhuse met some of the injured persons undergoing treatment at various private hospitals in Sinnar and also spoke to their relatives.

Talking to reporters after meeting the victims, Bhuse said, “A packaging company based in Ambernath had organised the Shirdi trip for its employees and arranged 15 buses (one of which met with the accident) for the trip.” He said that the state government will bear all medical expenses of the injured victims.

After a recent accident on the Nashik-Aurangabad highway, which had claimed 13 lives and injured many, the authorities are working to identify accident-prone areas in the city and the north Maharashtra district, the guardian minister said.

The injured persons were admitted to three private hospitals, while those with minor wounds were discharged from Sinnar Rural Hospital after treatment.

Ambernath tehsildar Prashanti Mane told PTI that six of of the deceased were residents of Morivali village.

All of them worked as packers at Balaji Packing Company, and it was a tradition with the company employees to arrange tours to pilgrimage sites every year, she said.

A pall of gloom descended on the village as news of the tragedy came.

Local MLA Balaji Kinnikar visited the village and assured that government will extend all help to the victims’ families.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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