The private passenger bus that met with an accident in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district in the early hours of Saturday, in which 25 passengers were burnt to death, was less than four years old, a state transport department official said.
The accident took place around 1.30 am at Pimpalkhuta village near Sindkhedraja on the Nagpur-Mumbai Samriddhi Expressway. Police said that there were a total of 33 people in the vehicle, of whom 25 died while eight others survived.
Additional Transport Commissioner JB Patil, who also heads the Maharashtra Road Safety Cell, told PTI that the Regional Transport Officer of Amravati RTO has already reached the accident spot and by this evening the department will submit its preliminary inquiry report about the accident after inspection. Will hand over bus and location.
Apart from this, the District Road Safety Committee will also investigate and suggest necessary action. He said Deputy Transport Commissioner (Road Safety) Bharat Kalaskar has been asked to review the entire situation.
Patil said, “As per the records, the sleeper coach bus was registered three years and five months back. The records are being examined whether the bus had valid fitness certificates, insurance, permits and other documents.”
Sources said that the bus was registered on January 24, 2020. Its fitness certificate is valid till March 10, 2024, bus permit till December 22, 2025 and insurance till October 26, 2023. However, the bus is under pollution control (PUC). Expires March 10, 2023.
A senior transport department official said the reason behind the accident could be a momentary loss of concentration of the bus driver, due to which the bus rammed a pole straight at high speed before falling on its right side.
He told that the shock of hitting the pole was so strong that the front axle of the vehicle broke.
Transport department sources said the bus crashed into a road divider on the highway after a front tire burst and fell towards the diesel tank. Fuel leakage and sparks generated due to friction while towing the bus could have started the fire.
On October 8 last year, 12 people, including a two-year-old child, were killed and 43 injured when a Mumbai-bound private sleeper bus collided with a trailer truck and caught fire in Nashik.