Mumbai/Kolkata/Chennai, May 28 (IANS) At least 46 people have been killed and 55 injured in road accidents in three states, once again highlighting the lack of safety measures on India’s highways.
In Maharashtra, at least 27 people were killed and over 20 injured when a speeding truck hit two stationary mini-buses on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway early Monday, an official said.
The accident occurred near Khalapur, around 80 km from Mumbai.
According to the Raigad police control room, the accident occurred shortly after midnight when one of the mini-buses developed a technical problem. Both the buses stopped by the roadside to rectify the problem when the loaded truck hit them. Many of the occupants, who were sleeping, were killed on the spot. The truck also mowed down others who were waiting for a relief bus.
The buses, carrying members of a marriage party from the Ghatkopar suburb of northeast Mumbai, were returning to Pune when the gruesome accident occurred, an official said.
In Tamil Nadu, 12 people were killed and 24 injured when a mango-laden truck in which they were traveling overturned when the driver lost control Sunday night near Dharmapuri district around 300 km from Chennai.
According to police, the lorry was carrying mangoes as well as 35 peoples, mainly daily wagers.
The truck was proceeding towards Kaveripatnam when the driver lost control while negotiating a turn and the vehicle turned turtle around 8 p.m. Sunday.
At least seven people were killed and eleven injured in two road accidents in West Bengal Monday, police said.
In the first accident, four members of a family were killed and two others seriously injured after the car in which they were travelling collided head on with a speeding truck in Hooghly district.
In the other accident in Kolkata, three people were killed and nine others received serious injuries after a state-run bus overturned near Deshapriya Park.
Road accidents have earned India a dubious distinction. With over 130,000 deaths annually, the country has overtaken China and now has the worst road accidents rate worldwide.
In India, 14 people died per hour in 2009 against 13 in the previous year. The total number of deaths every year due to road accidents has now passed the 135,000 mark.