An oil tanker overturned and caught fire on the Lonavla-Khandala stretch of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The accident resulted in the death of four people and injuries to three others. The tanker was carrying fuel and caught fire, causing fiery chemical balls to fall on the motorists travelling on the road below. The identities of the deceased are yet to be confirmed, but the injured are receiving medical treatment.
The Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra are monitoring the situation, and normal traffic movement is yet to be fully restored. The Highway Traffic Police Pune is overseeing operations, and traffic movement has been diverted. Deputy Superintendent of Police Satya Sai Kartik stated, “We have pressed all emergency services at the site to get the situation under control.” Some more automobiles were also impacted by the fire.
Road accidents are common in India, according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, there was a 12.6% increase in road accidents in India in 2021, with a total of 412,432 accidents reported. Fatalities and injuries also increased by 16.9% and 10.4%, respectively, compared to the previous year. Infringements such as speeding, drunk driving, and traffic light violations were identified as contributing factors.
The over-18 and under-45 age group was the most affected, accounting for almost 67% of the deaths from car accidents. India has the highest number of fatal road accidents, with over 4 lakh accidents reported in 2021 alone. Therefore, road safety remains a major concern in India, with the government taking several measures to tackle this issue.