• Wednesday, April 17, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

13 killed including 5 minors as bus falls into gorge on old Mumbai-Pune highway

The police filed a case of reckless and negligent driving against the bus driver, who also died in the accident

The bus which was carrying 42 passengers from Pune to Mumbai, fell into a 300-feet deep gorge in the Bor Ghat mountain pass section, also known as Khandala Ghat – Image Credit: Twitter

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

The police reported that a tragic accident occurred early on Saturday (14) in Raigad district, Maharashtra, as a bus transporting young male and female members of a traditional `Dhol-Tasha-Zaanj’ music troupe fell into a gorge on the old Mumbai-Pune highway.

The incident claimed the lives of 13 individuals, including five minors, while 29 others sustained injuries. Among the victims of the bus accident were three young women and an eight-year-old boy.

The bus, which was carrying 42 passengers from Pune to Mumbai, fell into a 300-feet deep gorge in the Bor Ghat mountain pass section, also known as Khandala Ghat, between 4:15 am and 4:30 am.

As per a senior police official, the incident occurred near Khopoli, located 70 km from Mumbai.

Later in the evening, the police filed a case of reckless and negligent driving against the bus driver, who also died in the accident.

Out of the 29 injured individuals, six are minors. The majority of the music troupe members were in their twenties or teens. They were returning to Mumbai after participating in an event in Pimpri Chinchwad township near Pune city.

Following the tragic incident, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde expressed his condolences and announced rupees five lakh ex-gratia assistance to the kin of each deceased.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed his grief over the accident and spoke with CM Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Droupadi Murmu too conveyed their condolences over the tragedy. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) quoted Modi as expressing his condolences over the tragedy, in a tweet saying, “Pained by the mishap in Raigad, Maharashtra. My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones.”

Modi also announced that an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund will be given to the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 will be given to the injured, as quoted by @PMO India in another tweet.

After being informed about the accident, a rescue operation was initiated by a team comprising of local police, volunteers from Yashwanti Hikers group, and personnel from construction firm IRB. The injured were transported to three hospitals, namely Mahatma Gandhi Mission Hospital in Kamothe, a government hospital in Khopoli, and a private facility.

An official stated that the Raigad police filed a First Information Report against the deceased bus driver under Indian Penal Code section 304-A (causing death by negligence) and other sections related to reckless and negligent driving.

The bodies of the deceased were given to their families for final rites.

With inputs from PTI

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