25 passengers burnt to death after bus catches fire on Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway | Samruddhi Mahamarg accident
The accident, which resulted in the death of 25 people, involved a bus carrying 33 passengers from Nagpur to Pune.According to the survivors’ accounts, there were no pieces of rubber or tyre markings found at the scene, and the impact marking was on the bent wheel disc, not the tyre itself.
Based on the information provided by one of the survivors, the report explains that the bus collided with a steel pole on the right side of the road, causing the driver to lose control. The bus then hit the divider, resulting in a severe impact on the front tyre that dislocated the front axle assembly from the bus chassis.
Subsequently, the right side of the bus, where the diesel tank is located, also collided with the divider, causing significant damage to the bus body. The report suggests that after the front axle assembly was dislocated, the front portion of the bus hit the road, generating friction and resulting in heat and fire due to the high engine oil temperature.
The RTO report said that the accident was not caused by a tyre burst, as there was no evidence of tyre pieces or markings at the scene. Instead, the collision with the steel pole and subsequent impacts on the divider led to the dislocation of the front axle assembly and the subsequent fire.
The vehicle then overturned on its left side after getting dragged due to the absence of the front axle, which caused more heat resulting in a blaze, it added.
The bus turning turtle on its left side blocked the passenger entrance-exit and the loss of alignment of the vehicle due to the impact of the accident also made the emergency door inoperative, it said.
The report, however, noted that speed may not have been a cause of the accident since the bus took two hours and 24 minutes to cover the 152-kilometre stretch from the entry point of the Samruddhi Expressway to the spot in Sindkhedraja where the accident took place.
The bus entered the Expressway at 11.08pm and the accident took place 152 kilometres away at 1:32 am, which means the average speed of the bus was 70 kilometres per hour, the report said.
The bus was on its way from Nagpur to Pune and had started its journey from Vidarbha’s largest city at 5pm on Friday.
It was on the Nagpur-Wardha-Yavatmal-Darwha-Karanja(Lad)-Samruddhi Expressway-Pune route, the report said.
Buldhana bus tragedy: Maha CM assures steps to prevent accidents on Samruddhi Expressway
Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday said his government has taken the Buldhana bus tragedy, in which 25 persons were charred to death, seriously, and assured that measures would be taken to prevent accidents on the Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Expressway.
Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis visited Pimpalkhuta village in Buldhana district, where the accident occurred in the wee hours of Saturday.
They interacted with the police personnel, district administration officials and local residents who apprised them of the sequence of the tragedy. Speaking to reporters at the site, Shinde said drivers of all vehicles need to follow rules related to speed limit.
“So far, most of the accidents on the Samruddhi Expressway have occurred due to human errors. But the government has taken this accident seriously and steps will be taken to ensure that accidents and errors don’t happen,” he said.
Experts would be consulted before putting in place measures to prevent accidents, the CM added.
“The death of 25 persons in today’s accident is unfortunate. They could not be saved as the door of the bus was locked. Eight people could come out,” Shinde said.
Quick response vehicles, fire brigade, police stationed on the expressway reached the spot on time, he said.
A total of 33 people were on board the private sleeper coach bus when it was going to Pune from Nagpur. The accident occurred at 1.30am in which 25 people were charred to death after the bus caught fire. Eight others, including the driver and the cleaner of the bus, survived as they managed to come out of the broken window, police said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the 520-km-long Phase-1 of the Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Mahamarg in December last year. Officially named as ‘Hindu Hrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg’, it is a pet project of Fadnavis.
Ahead of its inauguration, CM Shinde had described the Samruddhi Expressway as gamechanger project with a potential to transform the state.
(With inputs from PTI)