13 musicians killed as bus falls into ditch on Mumbai-Pune highway - GulfToday

13 musicians killed as bus falls into ditch on Mumbai-Pune highway


Police and rescue officials inspect the wreckage of a passenger bus near Khopoli, some 70km from Mumbai, on Saturday. AP

A passenger bus carrying dozens of members of a music troupe slid off a highway and fell into a gorge in western India on Saturday, killing 13 people and injuring 29 others, police said.

The bus was on its way to Mumbai, India’s financial capital, in Maharashtra state, from Pune city, where the musicians held a performance, said Atul Zende, a police officer. The exact cause of the crash was not immediately known.

Khopoli Police Inspector Shirish K. Pawar said that the accident occurred around 4am on the Pune-Mumbai arm of the old highway and the bus reportedly fell into the ravine at least 50 metres below, near the treacherous Borghat section.

"From preliminary investigations, it appears that the driver may have lost control on one of the steep turns on the highway, but our priority is rescue work," said Pawar.

Zende said rescue workers pulled out the badly injured from the wreckage of the bus and sent them to a hospital.


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A Raigad Police official said that a majority of the passengers were members of the Baji Prabhu Music Group, Goregaon, and were returning home after performing at a programme in Pune on Friday night.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sorrow over the accident and announced monetary relief to the victims’ families.

Deadly road accidents are common in India due to reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles. More than 110,000 people are killed every year in road accidents across India, according to police.


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