A tragic bus accident in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district claimed the lives of 25 passengers, including three children, and injured eight others on Saturday, July 1. The bus, which was travelling from Nagpur to Pune on the Samruddhi Expressway, caught fire after hitting a divider due to a suspected tyre burst or human error.
The accident occurred around 1.30 am at Pimpalkhuta village near Sindkhedraja. The bus was carrying 33 passengers, most of whom were asleep when the mishap took place. The fire spread rapidly and engulfed the bus, leaving no time for the passengers to escape. Only eight people, including the driver and the cleaner of the bus, managed to survive by breaking the rear window of the bus.
The authorities have decided to conduct DNA tests to ascertain the identity of the victims, as the bodies were charred beyond recognition. The injured have been admitted to a nearby hospital and are undergoing treatment. The police have registered a case of accidental death and are investigating the exact cause of the accident.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the accident site and expressed their condolences to the bereaved families. They also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the injured.
The accident has raised questions about the safety of the Samruddhi Expressway, which is a high-speed corridor connecting Mumbai and Nagpur. The expressway, which is still under construction, has witnessed several accidents in the past due to poor road conditions, lack of signage and lighting, and speeding vehicles. The government has assured that it will take all necessary steps to prevent such incidents in the future.
According to official data, more than 150,000 people die in road accidents in India every year, making it one of the most dangerous countries for road users in the world.