Five people died on the spot and two others sustained severe injuries in yet another accident on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The incident, which took place around 8.30am on Monday, near Baur village, 7km from Urse toll naka, was the third such mishap near that spot since December 23.
The police said the driver of a Maruti Swift (MH-03 BE 9958) travelling towards Mumbai lost control of the vehicle and rammed it into the road divider. The Swift swerved onto the other side of the road and hit a Maruti Eeco (MH- 43 AL 3528) travelling towards Pune.
The deceased have been identified as Mulund resident Ajit Lalwani, 50, Prakash Salve, 45, from Sewri, Shivaji Gaikar, 50, from Bhandup and Pune residents Gajanand Pundit, 41, and Ekneshwar Pathak, 50. Lalwani and Salve were travelling in the Swift while the others were in the Eeco.
Pune resident Kishan Ingurkar, 50, and Swananda Atre, 29, of Koparkhairane, who were in the Eeco, sustained serious injuries. They have been admitted to a private hospital and are out of danger.
Doctor from Pune’s Lokmanya hospital reached the spot minutes after the accident and confirmed the death of five people. “We have sent their bodies for post-mortem. It is not a case of drunk driving,” said Pradip Suryawanshi of Kamshet police chowky.
“The impact of the collision was so severe that both the cars have been badly mangled. The sound of the crash could be heard by policemen at the Pavana chowky and residents of Baur village along the Expressway,” said Suryawanshi. “We had to use two cranes to shift the cars on to the side of the road.”
Sources from the Maval police told DNA that Pundit, Pathak and Ingurkar would travel to Mumbai on a regular basis. Gaikar and Atre were returning to Mumbai after visiting their relatives in Pune.
Lalwani, who was in the Swift, was a businessman and had his office in Pune. He was travelling with his employee Salve to Pune when the accident took place.