In Maharashtra, 25 people, including nine women, lost their lives when a speeding State Transport bus collided with an auto-rickshaw, following which both the vehicles fell into a roadside well in Nashik district yesterday.
More than 30 people also suffered injuries in the accident which took place in the afternoon at Meshi Phata on the Malegaon-Deola Road in the North Maharashtra district, around 200 kilometres away from Mumbai.
Nashik Rural Superintendent of Police Arti Singh informed that the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation-run bus was on its way to Kalwan town in Nashik from the adjoining Dhule district. The speeding ST bus packed with passengers, crashed into the auto-rickshaw coming from opposite direction.
She said that the deceased included passengers travelling in both the vehicles. The officer further informed that the impact of the collision was so severe that the bus dragged the auto-rickshaw along with it and both the vehicles fell into a roadside well.
District Collector Suraj Mandhre said the injured have been admitted to Deola Rural Hospital.
Meanwhile, the State Government has announced financial assistance of 10 lakh rupees each to the next of kins of the deceased. So far, 21 bodies have been pulled out of the well and injured are being treated at state-run hospitals. Rescue operation is still underway at the crash site.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed the District Administration to provide all possible help to the people injured in the accident. State Transport Minister and MSRTC Chairman Anil Parab termed the accident as unfortunate and said the MSRTC will bear the entire cost of treatment of the injured people.